After a week of uncertainty and frustration for the Lakers, the team offered a vague update on franchise star Anthony Davis: The big man has a “stress injury” in his right foot, and is out indefinitely.
It might not be the clarity fans were hoping for after a week in which the team said Davis was undergoing evaluation, both by team doctors and outside specialists. A “stress injury” could range as far as a stress reaction or a stress fracture for the issue Davis first suffered on Dec. 16 against the Denver Nuggets.
But an ESPN report offered a more hopeful update: Pain has subsided in his right foot, and Davis will rest the next 7-10 days hoping that he’ll be able to return to play sooner than an early month-long projection of missed games. But perhaps unsettlingly, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski added: “For now, there’s hope a procedure can be avoided.”
What procedure exactly might be on the table is one of the looming unknowns of the latest injury news for the 29-year-old.
The Lakers (13-18) have gone 2-4 without Davis, and are 1-1 in games he’s been forced to leave early. The pressure to win without him has been exacerbated this week by additional injuries to Russell Westbrook and Austin Reaves, leaving the 13th-place Lakers without a handful of their best players.
Davis’ career – and his Lakers tenure – has often been marred by injury: He played just 76 of 154 possible games of the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, with issues including an Achilles tendon strain, a knee sprain and a right foot sprain.
Coming into the season with the goal of finally being healthy, Davis had returned to an All-NBA level in the month before he was hurt. In a 16-game span between Nov. 13 and Dec. 16, Davis averaged 30.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots while shooting 64% from the field. Against the Washington Wizards earlier this month, Davis set a scoring high for his Lakers tenure with 55 points.
An early return could help the Lakers immensely: Including Friday night’s game against the Charlotte Hornets, the Lakers play five games in the next 10 days, and as of Friday morning none of the opponents were above .500. The Lakers have two off-days between road games on Dec. 30 in Atlanta and Jan. 2 in Charlotte, giving Davis a hypothetical window to return if the injury subsides.
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If Davis takes longer to heal, the Lakers could be scrapping for some time: A month removed from his Dec. 16 injury date, the Lakers will play 13 games, sliding into a home-heavy schedule in the month of January after playing 16 of 22 on the road.
Davis attended Friday’s morning shootaround and was seen donning a pair of slippers on the court. He also attended a road game against Phoenix and walked around in normal sneakers, without any clear sign of a brace or any other support for his injury.