After many highs and lows in the weeks without Anthony Davis, more and more signs are pointing to the light at the end of the tunnel being very bright. Each stage of AD’s rehab has produced positive results with Sunday being the latest example.
Prior to the team’s game against the Blazers, head coach Darvin Ham revealed that Davis took part in a full-contact scrimmage on Saturday with all good news and reports coming out of it.
Darvin Ham said Anthony Davis played yesterday with the “Stay Ready” group and “looked phenomenal” — taking some contact, which is a huge step in his rehab.— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) January 23, 2023
The “Stay Ready” group is comprised of both players who are out of the rotation mixed with assistant coaches. For AD, it likely meant going up against someone like Damian Jones, a great measuring stick as he eases his way back onto the court.
The latest reports heading into the weekend were that Davis could be back as soon as this week. Improbably, almost regardless of the results in the final games before his return, the Lakers’ record without AD will be much better than what most expected as they have largely tread water.
As has been the case along the way, the team will wait to see how Davis’ foot will respond to the latest step forward in rehab but at no point has there been a setback (knock on wood), which means his return could truly be imminent. The Lakers will be in Los Angeles for a pair of mid-week games before a five-game road trip.
Right now, based simply on the schedule, the team’s road game in Boston on Saturday looks like the potential prime spot for an AD return. The team will have a pair of home games on Tuesday and Wednesday but most of the reporting has indicated the team is aiming more for the end of this week.
It would be a great time to welcome Davis back as the road trip will include stops in Boston, Brooklyn, New York, Indiana and New Orleans, a host of either high-profile contests or matchups against good bigs.
All of this is a bit of projection but it’s far more enjoyable to predict when AD will come back than it was to project how bad things would be in his absence. And with the Western Conference still jumbled, the possibilities are far more enticing than they felt in December.