Davis suffered the injury on Wednesday against the Utah Jazz, coming down on the foot of Rudy Gobert after going up for a pass. Davis experienced some major swelling in the foot after being carried to the locker room and while the original X-rays did not show a fracture, an MRI revealed the foot sprain.
Davis will miss at least four weeks with the injury, per the Lakers. After that month is up, the big man will be reevaluated. The injury is part of a rough run for Davis of late, which includes an MCL sprain earlier this season that forced him to miss 17 games. Davis missed 36 games last season with calf and heel injuries, then injured his groin during the postseason.
If he’s out a month, it’ll cost Davis at least 11 of the team’s final 24 games. Luckily, the All-Star break has arrived and the Lakers don’t play their next game until February 25. However, there’s always the chance it stretches out longer than the month timeline.
“Anytime you see a guy on crutches, it’s not a good sign,” LeBron James said after the game. “The good thing is he’ll be a lot better when we come back than he is today. No matter where he is, he’ll be better a week from today when we come back… Time heals all, and like I said, it was an unfortunate play.
“He’ll get back obviously as soon as he can, but (it is) nothing to rush.”
Davis’ Latest Injury ‘Deflating’ For Lakers
The Lakers beat the Jazz for one of their best wins of the season but the vibe in the locker room was somber due to Davis’ injury.
“It was very deflating to see AD go down in the way he did,” Vogel said. “And our guys tried to rally the necessary energy to start the second half, but there’s an energy you have to overcome and there’s ‘how are we going to adjust, tactically, coverage-wise.’ … You have to make adjustments.
“We came out in the second half flat for all those reasons, but credit our guys for really hanging in there and continuing to fight even when we seemed to be deflated a little bit to start the half. I thought Russell (Westbrook) was really good about talking to the guys in the timeouts and saying ‘let’s go, keep fighting,’ and keeping everybody engaged.”
Davis is not in the midst of a career season, but his contributions are hard to replace. On top of being the team’s best rim protector and shot-blocker, he’s also averaging 23.1 points and 9.7 rebounds.
Lakers Have Simple Task Until AD Returns — Win
The rarely full-strength Lakers are 27-31 heading into the All-Star break and sit in the ninth spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers have some work to do so they can avoid the play-in game and a lot of the heavy lifting will be done with Davis on the sideline.
“Win games until we get him back. It’s that simple,” Vogel said. “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We don’t know, obviously, how long it will be, but we’ve got to win as many games as we can down the stretch and believe in the group that we have. And hopefully we’re able to get whole as quickly as possible, and like we’ve been saying all along, we have a strong belief in this group if we’re able to stay healthy and stay whole. We’ve just got to win as many games as we can during that stretch.”
With Davis sidelined again, even more weight will be on the shoulder of James, who will be logging a chunk of time at center. It’s worked out but will be physically demanded on the 37-year-old, who is dealing with a knee issue of his own.