The Los Angeles Lakers will shut down Anthony Davis for two to three weeks while he recovers from a calf strain on his lower right leg after suffering the injury in a game against the Denver Nuggets over the weekend.
Davis said he experienced pain in the lower calf area during the last few weeks.
“I kind of reaggravated the injury I already had,” Davis said after the Denver game.
The good news is that the injury isn’t a torn Achilles. Injury reports initially suggested that Davis had Achilles tendonitis. An MRI scan on Monday confirmed the calf strain and not a ruptured right Achilles tendon, which the Lakers feared the most.
Davis, 27, will miss the next couple of weeks leading up to the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, scheduled to take place on March 7. Team officials are cautious about AD’s injury, so they shut him down for the next few weeks. They will reevaluate Davis and determine a course of action for the second half of the season.
Davis is the Lakers’ second-best scorer, averaging 22.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game this season.
Davis Down, Next Man Up for Lakers
LeBron James is having another MVP-season, averaging 25.5 ppg, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.1 assists per game. You can expect King James to help pick up the scoring slack, but the Lakers can’t have their aging superstar handle the entire load.
“All I care about is his health,” said James about Davis in a press conference. “I want him to be healthy. Our team needs him to be healthy. No rush. No timetable. We have no idea from that aspect. We just want him to be healthy and get back to full strength.”
“You don’t want to mess around with this type of injury,” said Davis.
With Davis down, head coach Frank Vogel will rely on big men Montrezl Harrell and Markieff Morris. Trez won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year with the LA Clippers last season before joining the Lakers in the offseason. Trez meshed right away with the Lakers’ second unit that includes Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, Wesley Matthews, and Talen Horton-Tucker.
Morris, AD’s backup at power forward, averaged just 4.4 ppg and 3.5 rebounds in just 15 minutes per game this season off the bench.
Davis is a former #1 pick out of Kentucky. He played a one-and-done season with the Wildcats before the New Orleans Pelicans selected him with the top pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He’s a seven-time All-Star, but if he gets selected this season, he’ll miss out on the All-Star festivities.
During 21 playoff games inside the NBA Bubble in Orlando, Davis averaged 27.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game while helping LeBron and the Lakers win the 2020 NBA Championship.
On Deck: T-Wolves, Nets, Heat
The Lakers (21-7) have the second-best record in the NBA behind the smoking-hot Utah Jazz. If the season were to end today, the Lakers would earn the #2 playoff seed in the Western Conference.
LeBron and the defending-champion Lakers are still the consensus favorite to win the NBA championship at +200 odds, according to a recent update by the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.
The Lakers have nine more games before the All-Star Break, but five games are against losing squads. They host six home games and only have two single road games after tonight’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.
The Lakers return home to SoCal to host the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. On Saturday, the Miami Heat visit Hollywood for a rematch of the 2020 NBA Finals.
The Lakers face their biggest challenge next Wednesday with a showdown in Salt Lake City against the Utah Jazz.