Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis was cleared to play against the Phoenix Suns in Game 6, but the superstar did not look like himself before leaving for the locker room early in the first quarter. Davis was officially listed as questionable to return in Game 6, but it would have been a surprise if the All-star returned to the court given how he looked in limited action.
The Lakers officially ruled out a return for Davis at halftime. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported Davis did not re-injure his groin but continues to struggle to move laterally.
“Source: Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis (groin) did not injure his groin strain any further, but the pain intensifies when his mobility is tested,” Haynes noted on Twitter.
Haynes noted prior to tipoff that Davis was cleared to play by the Lakers medical staff who believed he was not at risk to further injure his groin. Here is a look at Davis’ final play as Devin Booker blew past him to drive to the basket.
The Lakers Cleared A.D. to Play Assessing That He Could Not Further Injure His Groin
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, nothing new happened with Davis’ injury during his brief time playing in Game 6. It simply became clear that Davis was not going to be able to continue to play with the groin injury.
“Anthony Davis’ night is officially over, per the Lakers,” McMenamin tweeted. “AD did not do anything in the first quarter to make his left groin strain more severe than it already [was], sources tell ESPN. It was the “same feeling” as it was going into the game, sources said. He just wasn’t right.”
Heading into Game 6, Davis was hopeful that his recent treatments would allow him to play against the Suns. Davis was cleared to play but did not look like himself as he struggled moving up and down the court.
“Hopefully all the rehab and treatment that I’m doing pays off and the doctors clear me to go tomorrow,” Davis explained leading up to Game 6, per Yahoo Sports. “I’m getting more treatment tonight, tomorrow and I’ll talk to the doctors before and after I shoot and hopefully everything comes back good where they can clear me. That’s what we’re hoping for.”
LeBron Encouraged A.D. Not to Rush Back From His Injury
According to Haynes, James encouraged Davis not to rush back from his injury even though the big man wanted to play in Game 5. The Lakers season has been defined by injuries to key players with both Davis and James missing significant time during the regular season.
“Davis told teammates he was going to push to play in Game 5, league sources told Yahoo Sports,” Haynes detailed. “LeBron James encouraged Davis not to rush it, noting the personal bout he had with the same injury, sources said.”
Prior to Game 5, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel noted the decision to play Davis would be made by the medical staff and not be impacted by this being a postseason series. Davis may have been medically cleared to play, but he clearly was not able to move well enough to stay in the game.
“If they feel he’s at risk for injuring it further, then obviously they won’t clear him to be out there,” Vogel said before Game 5, per Silver Screen and Roll. “But if they feel like he’s just playing through some pain, and he’s not at any further risk than any other player, then he’ll be cleared. It’s going to be a medical decision.”