After missing a whopping 30 games, Anthony Davis is set to take the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks, if all goes according to plan.
Davis has missed nearly half the season with a calf strain and pain in his Achilles, which has been dubbed as Achilles tendonitis.
It’s been quite the journey back to what Davis dubbed as “100%,” requiring a large amount of patience from the eight-time All-Star. However, the pain from the injury was extra incentive for Davis to take his time.
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“I wanted to make sure it was 100% when I came back,” Davis said while speaking to the media for the first time in months on Wednesday. “I don’t want to have to go through this over and over for the rest of the season, let alone the rest of my career. It wouldn’t be fair to myself and it wouldn’t be fair to my team. It feels good. I feel 100% healthy. I feel great.”
Davis gave some insight on the injury and what he went through when it initially happened
“I never tore an Achilles, but I kind of felt like sharp pain, like it was ripping, which I had never felt before,” Davis said. “So I knew it was something serious. It wasn’t as serious as it could have been, but it was still a pretty significant injury.
“I did think that I had probably partially torn it,” he added. “The pressure was tough. Flexing my foot and things like that was very painful, so I knew it was something serious. It wasn’t as serious as it could have been, but it was still a pretty significant injury.”
Anthony Davis to be on Strict Minutes Restriction
Davis will be a big boost for the Lakers lineup, but his return to full capacity will be a progression. Lakers coach Frank Vogel has said that Davis will start on a 15-minute restriction to start, slowly ramping up into game shape.
“If you’re out for this long, it usually takes a couple of weeks, to be honest, to really feel like you have your legs under you and you’re in rhythm and your rhythm and timing is back, as well as working in new teammates,” Vogel told reporters. “So it’s going to take some time.”
The Lakers were 14-16 with Davis on the sideline, a situation that was compounded when LeBron James was sidelined with a high-ankle sprain. James is still expected to be out a few more weeks.
“It’s going to be my job to try to help the team stay afloat until he comes back as well and stay fighting,” Davis said. “But this team has done more than we can ask for.”
Anthony Davis Looking Forward to Playing With Andre Drummond
The Lakers have added a few new pieces since Davis was last in the lineup, including veteran big man Andre Drummond.
The Lakers signed Drummond off the buyout market and he’s proved to be a valuable asset so far, despite some mixed performances. He has four double-digit rebound games and has scored 20-plus twice, including a 27-point outing against the Western Conference-leading Jazz.
“I think it’s gonna be fairly quick for us to really adapt to each other because we both are guys who want to learn from each other and who want to win at the end of the day,” Davis said. “And when you’ve got two guys who want to win, you find ways to make it happen.”
Despite Davis returning, the Lakers are still a 3.5-point underdog for the matchup against the Mavericks, who are on the back end of a double-header.
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