LOS ANGELES — Depending on who you consult, the timeline for Anthony Davis’ return to the Lakers’ lineup could be in early February, or even by the end of this month.
This much is clear, however: He’s progressing.
Coach Darvin Ham offered a bit of insight into Davis’ mostly behind-the-scenes process as he recovers from a fractured bone spur and stress reaction in his right foot. He said Davis has been doing more on-court work, including workouts nearly up to an hour long.
“They are intense and just to see how the foot reacts to those workouts,” Ham said. “He’s been pretty much pain-free, so once that continues a little bit more time we’ll see where he’s at and when he can be reinserted into the lineup.”
The “pain-free” part should be encouraging to Lakers fans, especially considering that running and jumping, according to Ham, has been part of his ramp-up work. Wednesday marked the 17th game Davis has missed since injuring his foot. All of his work has been individual so far – LeBron James recently mentioned Davis rehabbing behind closed doors – and so far the Lakers have been cautious about introducing him to a group setting.
“You have to be careful because feeling good after a workout, an individual workout, it will be a little different when you’ve got extra bodies on the floor,” Ham said. “You’re banging, changing speeds, changing direction.”
Davis was enjoying an All-NBA-caliber season before the injury, averaging 27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots while shooting 59.4% from the floor. With Davis eager to make his way back, Ham acknowledged that part of the franchise’s job is to temper his enthusiasm to match their detailed plan to bring him back.
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“It’s rightfully so because of the way he plays and the way he wanted to attack the season even before the season started,” Ham said of Davis’ “impatience” to return. “It’s understandable that he has that mindset but all the while we have to be careful because we don’t want a recurring thing in terms of him being in and out, in and out.”
Lonnie Walker IV has now missed 10 straight games with left knee tendinitis, while Austin Reaves missed his seventh game with left hamstring soreness. Both are due to be re-evaluated by the end of the week.
ODDS AND ENDS
With his 18 first-half points, LeBron James now needs fewer than 300 points to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time regular-season scoring record. … On the night before playing the Lakers, Sacramento Kings forward Chimezie Metu had his jersey retired by Lawndale High School.