Anthony Davis was spotted getting in some work before the Los Angeles Lakers‘ latest game, wearing a bulky brace on his injured left knee.
While the brace might have initially caused some concern, it’s all part of the plan for Davis, who is set to be evaluated as soon as this weekend. In fact, just the fact that he was on the court getting in some basketball activities was a huge plus in his recovery. Dr. Rajpal Brar broke down Davis’ status and what it all means.
“This is a very positive indicator because it tells us he is progressing to a higher level of intensity and responding quite well. Although the team has said that he will be re-evaluated in the fourth week, the reality is, the physio and training staff are evaluating Davis daily and if he wasn’t responding well, he wouldn’t be on the court doing these activities,” Brar said in a video breakdown on Silver Screen and Roll. ” The next major step in his progression here will be doing that lateral, side-to-side movement. Once we see that, that’s when he is really going to be close to being cleared for a full return to activities.”
Davis went down midway through the third quarter against the Timberwolves on Dec. 17 when forward Jaden McDaniels rolled into his legs. David hobbled to the sideline and made his way down the tunnel. Davis stumbled and sat on the floor once he got a few steps down. Davis was already nursing the knee and had it looked at twice that week. He missed two games earlier in the month with left knee soreness.
Lakers Planning to Stay Small When Davis Returns
For the first time in his career, LeBron James has been logging some major minutes at center. Davis is expected to log the majority of the minutes at center after returning, while James will continue to back him up when he takes a seat.
“I think you’re going to see Anthony playing a lot at the 5, and when Anthony is out (of the game), we have the lineups we’ve been playing right now with LeBron basically playing point center,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said this week. “It is the direction I think we’re going to land with this group towards the second half of the season, and one we’re seeing obvious benefits from right now that we feel like are going to be even more enhanced when Anthony comes back.”
The Lakers still have traditional centers Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan on the roster, but will rely more on the play-making ability of Davis and James.
“That’s the beauty of them is that they’re both versatile as playmakers and screeners, you know what I mean?” Vogel said. “And what we’ve done is open up the paint and we feel like it’s going to benefit both of those guys in that role.”
LeBron James Confident Once Lakers Get Healthy
Despite a loss to the streaking Grizzlies last time out, James feels like the Lakers are still in a good position. While a 21-20 record isn’t ideal, he feels like the Lakers are starting to hit their stride because they’re getting finally healthy.
““We’re just getting our guys back. It’s literally that simple,” James said. “Soon we’ll have [Kendrick] Nunn as well, and not too far after that, AD returns.”
The Lakers were just behind the Nets at the start of the season in terms of title odds, but have plummeted since, coming in at +1,200 to win it all. However, if the Lakers can mesh and get healthy at the right time, there’s no doubt the team can make some noise.
Lakers Star Anthony Davis Gets Positive Outlook on Return