While the situation in total is still less than ideal with the Lakers being without Anthony Davis for more than a month, all of the news surrounding his recovery, rehab, and potential return continues to be almost wholly positive.
The latest updates over the weekend did not divert from that course. First, Shams Charania of The Athletic appeared on FanDuelTV and revealed that the hope was for Anthony Davis to get on the court before the All-Star break.
The hope is that Anthony Davis is gonna be able to get back out on the floor with a handful of games left before the All-Star break - early February @ShamsCharania on potential return for Lakers star Anthony Davis#RunItBack | https://t.co/Q9hUtUoPZJ pic.twitter.com/DyHF2PFdjd— FanDuel TV (@FanDuelTV) January 16, 2023
Included in that report was the news that AD would begin running. Prior to the team’s game against the Sixers on Sunday, Davis was shown working out pregame, and it was pointed out then that running would be the next stage of his rehab.
The news and reports only got better on Monday when NBATV sideline reporter Jared Greenberg revealed an even more optimistic return timeline.
BREAKING: Jared Greenberg of NBATV reported on the broadcast he’d been told by people within the organization that AD will be back for games before the end of January. His current ramp up phase wasn’t expected to start until 1/19, he’s well ahead of expectations.— Lakers Supply (@LakersSupply) January 17, 2023
Having his foot respond as positively as it has is nothing but great news for the Lakers. While they have been treading water without him, the Western Conference is bunched up, and the Lakers could be primed for a run if Davis can return not just to the court but to his form prior to his injury.
Austin Reaves, Lonnie Walker IV nearing returns
To varying degrees, both Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV have been progressing to their own returns that should come sooner than AD’s. Over the weekend, head coach Darvin Ham noted that Reaves had returned to do on-court work while Walker was moving forward in his rehab as well.
Some updates from LAL practice - Anthony Davis was on the floor today for some half-court work. Lakers did, indeed, workout DeMarcus Cousins and Meyers Leonard Friday. Austin Reaves was on the court doing individual work and Lonnie Walker IV is also progressing, per Ham.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 14, 2023
That general update, though, is about the entirety of the news we have gotten on Reaves or Walker so far. Both were ruled out on Jan. 6 — Reaves with a left hamstring strain and Walker with left knee tendinitis — and both were given approximate timelines of two weeks before being reevaluated.
As Ham prior to Monday’s game against the Rockets, both are nearing those evaluations.
Darvin Ham says Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV are a few days away from their follow-up examinations.— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) January 17, 2023
Officially, two weeks from their original diagnosis would be Friday, Jan. 20. The Lakers have a number of games the pair could potentially return for in the coming week. After playing the Kings on Wednesday, the Lakers will host Memphis on Friday before traveling to Portland on Sunday.
Without the pair, the Lakers have gone 3-3 but the loss of both has been felt. Walker’s absence stretches back prior to the Jan. 6 date with his last game played coming on Dec. 28 against the Heat. Originally, he was ruled out with a tailbone contusion before the knee tendinitis led to the more long-term absence.