Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis will be sidelined for at least three weeks after an MRI taken Monday showed he has a calf strain and a re-aggravation of the right Achilles tendinosis, Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, told USA TODAY Sports.
The injury will sideline Davis for the Lakers’ next nine games before the NBA All-Star break and possibly beyond. Although the Lakers (21-7) face the league-worst Minnesota Timberwolves (7-20) on Tuesday, they will also face two championship contenders (Brooklyn Nets, Utah Jazz) and playoff contenders (Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns) before the All-Star break.
In a news release, the Lakers haven't given a timetable for Davis’ recovery. But they confirmed the MRI results "showed no rupture of the right Achilles tendon," which likely would have sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
The Lakers added that Davis “will be further evaluated by team doctors” after the Lakers return to Los Angeles following Tuesday’s game in Minnesota.
Davis is preparing for the likelihood of missing games beyond his reevaluation period since that will likely start the beginning of his rehab, according to Paul.
Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) suffered a calf strain in Sunday's game against the Denver Nuggets that will sideline him until at least the All-Star break. (Photo: The Associated Press)
Davis’ injury happened late in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets after slightly bumping knees against center Nikola Jokic. Davis did not take a fall and walked to the locker room without any assistance. But the Lakers ruled him out for the second half.
Davis and the Lakers stressed that the medical staff determined he felt healthy enough to play following a two-game absence after originally being diagnosed with Achilles tendinosis. Davis played without any issue on Friday against Memphis. But Davis told reporters after Sunday’s game that he plans on being “smarter” with his recovery, including increasing his treatment from three to five times a day. Davis reported he had already iced his right leg after Sunday’s game, has worn heel lifts to relieve stress in his Achilles area and has worn extra padding in his shoes.
In either case, the Lakers will be without a star player that has helped with his post-presence and defensive versatility. The inevitable burden shifts to LeBron James, who has already averaged 25.5 points on 49.8% percent shooting, 8.0 assists and 8.0 rebounds in 34.6 minutes per game. But Davis’ vacancy also shifts the defensive burden on Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell and Markieff Morris. Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma also will likely receive increased playing time given he started the second half against Denver during Davis’ absence.
The Lakers (21-7) have the second-best record in the Western Conference behind the Utah Jazz (22-5).
Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Source: Read Full Article