Lakers Offer Update on Plan for Anthony Davis as Concerns Mount

Anthony Davis

Getty Images Lakers star Anthony Davis.

Anthony Davis remains out for the Los Angeles Lakers but there’s optimism that the All-Star big man is on track for a return sooner than later.

The major issue for Davis is a stress injury in his right foot. He’s been out since December 16, when he injured his foot while going up for a rebound against the Nuggets.

While there’s still no timeline for a return to the court, head coach Davin Ham says Davis is right where the Lakers need him to be.

“He’s going right according to plan,” Ham said on January 4 prior to the Lakers’ matchup with the Miami Heat. “It’s right on pace with what we thought it’d be.”

That is similar to what ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Davis earlier in the day.

“He’s started to do some running on the court,” Wojnarowski said. “The next step I’m told for AD is jumping and then see how the foot feels then. But certainly, they’re encouraged with the progress, and I think you’ll start to see Anthony Davis ramp it up and do more with the team now back in L.A.”

Without a firm timeline for a return, where that is exactly is still a bit uncertain. Davis spoke to reporters on December 31 that he was feeling better but still had not resumed on-court activities.

“It’s really just about pain,” Davis told reporters. “The pain is still there, I still feel it a little bit, not as much as I did before. More like a two (on a scale from one to 10), trending down to one. I’ve been lifting, and lifting is fine. Everything I do in the weight room is fine. If I see that it’s healed properly, or enough where I can go start ramping up on the court, then we’ll start that process.”

Anthony Davis Doesn’t Want to Have Surgery on Foot

The Lakers have played nine games without Davis since his most recent injury, going 4-5 over that span, thanks mostly to some monster performances from LeBron James. It was initially reported that Davis would miss a month with the foot injury.

The key for Davis is avoiding surgery, which would extend his timeline and make a return this season very uncertain. And not only would it lengthen his recovery but it’s also something he is not a fan of in general.

“When they were talking about surgery – well, I don’t like surgery,” Davis said. “I feel like if it can be avoided, then let’s avoid it. When that became an option, I wanted to make sure I get the best understanding for me because I’m the one who has to make the decision with that.”

Davis has never played in every game in his 10 seasons and has missed significant chunks of time in each of the last two seasons. He’s appeared in just 76 games the previous two seasons combined and stated his goal this year is to be available for the Lakers in every matchup. That obviously won’t be the case this year and Davis has done little to shake the “injury-prone” tag that has been placed on him.

Lakers Looking to Stay Afloat With Davis Out

What made the injury especially painful for the Lakers is that Davis was playing some of the best basketball of his career when he went out.

Davis — an eight-time All-Star — was averaging 27.4 points with career-best numbers in rebounds per game (12.1) and field goal percentage (59.4%). He was also a major piece of the Lakers’ defense, providing an intimidating presence in the paint with more than two blocks per game.

While all hope seemed lost for a while when Davis went out, the Lakers still have a shot at the postseason thanks to the recent surge from James, who has been a monster the last month or so. The 38-year-old is averaging 29.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists this season and put up 40-plus in his last two. On top of that, the Western Conference is wide open and a winning streak could change the complexion of the season for LA.

James was listed as out on Wednesday for the matchup against the Heat with a non-COVID-related illness.

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