Suffering an injury scare in the Lakers’ final preseason China game against the Nets, Anthony Davis was forced to miss the Lakers’ most recent game against the Golden State Warriors. Davis never seemed to express much concern over the injury and the latest MRI backed that up as it showed that there was no structural damage to anything in Davis’ thumb.
Diagnosed with a grade one sprain, Davis’ recovery is mostly about pain management as there really isn’t much of a way for him to injure the thumb any further.
Anthony Davis to Return from Injury in Lakers’ Preseason Game vs. Warriors
Given that there isn’t any significant damage, Davis was cleared to get back into the mix tonight. Though he is likely battling through some mild discomfort, the news is extremely promising for Laker fans as losing the oft-injured Davis in the preseason would have dealt a heavy blow to the team’s playoff hopes.
Davis struggled (relatively speaking) in the Lakers’ two China games and will look to get back on track against the team he manhandled in the Lakers’ preseason opener. Davis put together a gaudy stat line of 22 points and 10 rebounds in only 18 minutes on the court and feasted on the inexperienced and undersized Warriors’ frontcourt. The Warriors are still missing Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein, so don’t be surprised to see Davis come out and put together a similar performance.
While it is nice to see the Lakers’ frontcourt beat up on the Warriors, their pair of games against the Nets painted a vastly different picture of the unit. Struggling to rebound and score over the duo of DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen, the Lakers’ size was rendered relatively ineffective and the physical style of play they’ve showed off against the Warriors was nowhere to be found. If the Lakers want to be able to put themselves in a strong playoff position, they’ll need to figure out how to handle teams that have a strong interior presence on a regular basis. Davis’ return should help, though even he struggled somewhat against the Nets.
Other Injured Lakers Updates
The biggest other Laker on the injury shelf is Kyle Kuzma, who we have yet to see this offseason. After an extremely strong showing for USA Basketball during the FIBA World Cup training camp (where Kuzma would sustain his injury), hopes for Kuzma were sky-high heading into the season. He still hasn’t been ruled out for the season opener, though his lack of time on the court alongside teammates might cause Vogel to limit his minutes at the start of the season in an effort to ease him back into competition.
Kuzma was recently cleared for non-contact basketball drills – an extremely positive indicator that he should be back to his role in the rotation before too much longer. Especially with the Lakers’ lack of scoring off the bench, Kuzma’s presence should be welcomed with open arms as he likely will slide into the role of a heavy usage sixth man.