Lakers’ Anthony Davis Reveals Major Injury Update

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

The Los Angeles Lakers have been without NBA All-Star Anthony Davis in their lineup since he left their Dec. 16 win over the Denver Nuggets after playing just 17 minutes. He had been diagnosed with a stress injury in his right foot two weeks ago.

Before the Lakers played the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, Davis spoke to a small group of L.A.-based reporters to discuss the latest on his injury recovery. He explained that he’s “feeling a lot better,” but he doesn’t have a firm timetable. He’s going to get another round of imaging done when the Lakers return to Los Angeles.

“Feeling a lot better, pain has subsided tremendously,” Davis said, via ESPN. “I think the next step is [the foot] healing right now. I don’t want to use timetables because that’s a whole different thing, but it’s healing pretty quickly.

“So when we get back to L.A., we’ll do another image of the foot, and see how far it’s healed.”

Davis had a bone spur fracture off the navicular bone in his right foot when he collided with Nikola Jokic. He felt significant pain, prompting him to get an X-ray at halftime. The results later showed the current diagnosis, causing him to be sidelined since that point. He described the pain as being a “nine out of 10,” but is now down to a “one or a two” at this time.

“That one move, I guess kind of caused whatever it caused,” Davis said. “So when I went to get an X-ray at halftime, it was bothering me, it was very painful.”

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Davis wants to be careful about risking further injury. There is a chance that a stress reaction can worsen into an outright stress fracture — creating a significant problem.

“The stress reaction [can lead to] a stress fracture, and that’s a whole different ballgame,” Davis said.

Davis explained that one doctor theorized that the bone spur had been present since his collegiate basketball career, meaning he’s been playing with it for more than a decade. However, to this point, it had yet to cause him any problems. He wants to avoid undergoing surgery to clean it up, if possible.

“I don’t like surgery,” Davis said. “I feel like, if it can be avoided, then let’s avoid it.”

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Davis would potentially consider offseason surgery, but that would lead to a potentially lengthy recovery timetable of “six, seven, eight months out.” He wants to try being sidelined for a shorter period of time to see if it can recover while the Lakers are trying to compete for a playoff spot.

“Something to consider, in the offseason, to remove [the bone spur],” Davis said. “I think the biggest thing is the stress reaction, though, just monitoring that. Because that can definitely lead to six, seven, eight months out — which I would rather take four weeks than seven months. I’m not saying I’ll be back in four weeks — but hopefully.”

Davis had been playing at a high level before he suffered his injury. He has averaged 27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.1 blocks after fully embracing playing the center position full-time, something he had been previously reluctant to do.

“It was tough for me mentally just because of the fact that coming off last year with the injuries, and coming out and having a mindset of getting back to who I want to be as a player, in that mold,” Davis said. “For something like this to happen was tough mentally.”

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After recovering from injury, Davis is looking forward to returning to the Lakers’ lineup. He isn’t sure when that’s going to be exactly. He’s focused on making the same dynamic impact he had provided the team before being sidelined.

“I’m just really excited to get back on the floor,” Davis said. “[It] hasn’t been a ‘Man, it’s going to take me X amount of games to get back in rhythm,’ or, ‘Might not be the same.’ That’s not even been a thought in my mind.

“My thought has been, ‘Whenever that day is, it’s go time.'”

The Lakers are 3.0 games back from the final play-in spot in the Western Conference. There is still some time to get things going, but they do have to compete with the Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Oklahoma City Thunder for that final spot.

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