As much as Anthony Davis wants to be on the court for the Los Angeles Lakers, it appears the team will be keeping him on the shelf for quite some time as he works to get back to 100 percent.
Davis is an integral part of the Lakers championship but can’t be limping to the finish line with the nagging Achilles injury. It has bothered him for weeks and flared up against the Nuggets as he drove to the rim with Denver big man Nikola Jokic defending.
“Once Davis returns to Los Angeles, he’ll immediately get another evaluation there. It is extremely unlikely Davis returns to lineup prior to [All-Star Game] break ending March 10.” Wojnarowski wrote on Twitter.
Lakers to Take Conservative Approach with Anthony Davis
The Lakers are currently 21-7 and just behind the Jazz (22-5) for the best record in the NBA. If Davis is indeed able to return after the All-Star Break — March 5-10 — he’ll miss nine games.
The Lakers are one of the deeper teams in the NBA and should be able to stay afloat with 36-year-old LeBron James performing at an MVP level. It gives the Lakers less urgency on bringing back Davis, who signed a five-year extension this offseason.
“Even prior to MRI today, [the] conversation among GM Rob Pelinka, Anthony Davis and agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports has been to take their time on AD’s return to lineup,” Wojnarowski reported on Twitter. “They’ll take another look in two-to-three weeks, yes, but ‘conservative’ is the operative word.”
Davis had said previously that he wanted to stay active to keep the injury loose.
“It could go away obviously with rest and stuff like that,” Davis told reporters over the weekend. “But I’m not trying to rest up. I’m just trying to keep it as loose as possible… It’s not the actual Achilles tendon where you guys are thinking about, where it can be scary. It’s — I forgot the name of it — something that’s over it that’s pretty sore, so it’s not the actual tendon, which is why it’s comfortable me to play and get it loose, and why the doctors and training staff are comfortable enough to let me go out there and perform as well.”
Davis is averaging 22.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks this season.
Wojnarowski: Davis Injury Doesn’t Change Lakers’ Trade Deadline Plans
While the injury to Davis throws somewhat of a wrench in the Lakers’ repeat plans, Wojnarowski does not expect it to make general manager Rob Pelinka more active at the trade deadline.
“There’s no replacing Anthony Davis,” Wojnarowski said during an appearance on Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin. “I don’t think it changes how they approach the deadline. I think if you’re the Lakers, you may see what the buyout market is like. I don’t this reimagines how Rob Pelinka looks at the trade deadline because there is optimism this is an injury they can manage.”
James echoed what Wojnarowski said after the loss to the Nuggets on Sunday when it comes to replacing Davis’ production.
“It’s always next man up, no matter who is out. We are not asking anyone to pick up what AD does. You can’t do that. That’s impossible. He’s a special player and a special talent for a reason. Everyone has to pick up their play individually for the collective of the team. We look forward to that challenge.”