In the 91-77 loss to the Brooklyn Nets to conclude the 2019 NBA China Games, the Los Angeles Lakers initially diagnosed Anthony Davis with a sprained right thumb.
The injury occurred in the first quarter when Davis blocked a Nets player at the rim. While Davis stayed in for the remainder of the quarter, his hand was lightly wrapped.
Once Davis made his way back to the locker room, he was shut down for the game and will undergo diagnostic testing once the Lakers return to Los Angeles after a week in China.
Davis is scheduled for an MRI on Oct. 13, but initial exams are positive, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 12, 2019
Considering the team’s history with injuries in the past 6-7 seasons, there are obviously concerns about Davis’ latest injury. However, it appears Davis only played 12 minutes against the Nets as a precautionary measure at this time.
While some will bring up Davis’ injury history with the New Orleans Pelicans, he has actually played at least 75 games in two out of the last three seasons. And for the 2018-19 NBA season, he was limited to 56 due to the trade request.
As the Lakers are viewed as championship contenders, the reality is Davis and LeBron James need to stay relatively healthy to improve their chances. While the team’s strength is depth, it starts and ends with the two All-Star players.
With the hope of the MRI confirming these initial exams, it will be interesting to see if the Lakers change their strategy with Davis with three preseason games remaining now.
Since there is a balance between building chemistry and staying healthy, Davis and James have shown they compliment each other well and should play limited minutes until Opening Night against the Los Angeles Clippers.