The Los Angeles Lakers managed to get a win before the All-Star break but lost Anthony Davis to an ankle injury, as their injury woes continue.
With just over three minutes left in the first half of Wednesday’s victory over the Utah Jazz, Davis jumped with a spin to collect a lob pass from Malik Monk in the paint. But as the 28-year-old was still in the air, Jazz center Rudy Gobert appeared to have pushed the Lakers forward.
Davis then landed on Gobert’s foot and immediately hit the floor, writhing as he grabbed his right ankle. He left the game not long after, seemingly unable to put any weight on the injured leg.
“It’s very deflating to see [Anthony Davis] go down the way he did,” head coach Frank Vogel said. “I just tried to rally the necessary energy to start the second half but there is an energy you have to overcome; how are we going to adjust tactically coverage-wise.”
Davis had scored 17 points before injuring his ankle in a close contest between the Lakers and the Jazz. In his absence, Utah built a double-digit lead before LeBron James took over in the fourth quarter.
Vogel said Davis’ exit initially shook the Purple and Gold, who needed to come up with adjustments on the fly.
“Our plan has been with A.D. in big minutes role with us and playing around him a lot, so you have to make adjustments,” the head coach said.
“We came out of the second half a little bit flat for all those reasons but credit our guys. They’re really hanging in there and continuing to fight even when we seem to be deflated a little bit to start the half.”
X-ray showed no fracture in Davis’ ankle with the Lakers planning to re-evaluate the forward after the All-Star break. Although Vogel couldn’t provide a timeline for the forward’s return, he said L.A. needs to simply focus on getting as many wins as possible before its superstar comes back.
“It’s that simple,” Vogel said. “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We don’t know obviously how long it will be, but we got to win as many as we can down the stretch and believe in the group that we have.
“Hopefully, we’re able to get whole as quickly as possible, and like we’ve been saying all along, we have a strong belief in this group if we’re able to stay healthy and stay whole. We just got to win as many games as we can during that stretch.”
LeBron James hasn’t never been through season like 2021-22
Davis will miss time with an injury for the second time this season, previously spending over a month on the sideline due to an MCL sprain. LeBron James, Talen Horton-Tucker, Trevor Ariza, and Austin Reaves have all missed several games due to health issues during the current campaign.
James said he has never been through a season like this before.
“No. It’s just day-to-day,” he said.
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