Lakers Bracing for Long-Term Absence From Star Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

Getty Images Lakers star Anthony Davis.

The Los Angeles Lakers will be without star big man Anthony Davis for at least a month and there is no timetable for his return.

Davis is dealing with a right foot injury he suffered against the Nuggets on December 16. He left that game after trying to go up for a layup against Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, appearing to bang the foot against the reigning MVP’s leg.

The timeline — or lack thereof — for Davis was revealed by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

“Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis is expected to miss at least one month after suffering a right foot injury,” Charania tweeted. “Lakers are bracing for an indefinite absence for the Lakers star, sources say, after he sustained the right foot injury in Friday’s win over Denver. Davis has played arguably the most dominant ball of his career this season.”

Davis was playing like an MVP candidate over the last month, averaging 30.3 points and 10.4 rebounds in December. He had games with 44 and 55 points to start the month and helped turn the tide of the Lakers’ season, even as LeBron James dealt with an injury.

Davis is averaging 27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks for the season while shooting 59.3% from the field and 82.6% at the free throw line.

With Davis on the sideline, the Lakers will turn to Wenyen Gabriel, Thomas Bryant and Damian Jones to help fill the void. It’ll be impossible to replicate the production of Davis but the Lakers need to find a way to win games and improve their 12-16 record, which currently has them as the No. 12 seed in the Western Conference.

Davis Has Troublesome Recent Injury History

Davis has had a tough time staying on the court in recent seasons and he’s been heavily criticized for the time he has missed. He has never played in every game in his 10 seasons and has missed significant chunks of time in his last two.

He’s appeared in just 76 games in the last two seasons combined and has stated his goal this year is to be available for the Lakers in every matchup.

“As much as I can, play all 82 [games], and then get back to the level of basketball that I know I’m capable of playing which is being elite and dominant,” Davis said told Spectrum Sports.

Davis dealt with a series of lower-body issues over the last two years, which includes a calf strain, Achilles tendonosis, a groin injury, a sprained MCL and a sprained foot. During camp, he also revealed that a wrist injury limited him last season.

LeBron James Needs to Carry Lakers With Davis Out

The Lakers have been competitive against some of the top teams in the league in recent games. Despite ultimately being losses, the Lakers pushed Philadelphia and Boston to overtime and just upended Denver without the services of Davis for most of the matchup.

Since returning from injury, James has been solid and he’s scored 30 or more in his last three games. He was especially pleased with how the team responded with a win against the Nuggets on Friday.

“I mean, it’s huge, especially after the heartbreaking loss we had against Boston,” James said. “For us to come back a couple nights later and, you know, kind of play well at times and then get down and make a rally and guys off the bench making the biggest impact for the game. I think it was huge.

“I mean, like you said, Russ, you know, AR, Troy [Brown Jr.], Max [Christie], and Thomas [Bryant]. They were just phenomenal. I mean, look at it. They’re all in the plus. We needed every single minute. All the minutes we got from them. It was huge.”

The Lakers host the Wizards on Sunday and will travel to face to Suns on Monday.

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