The Los Angeles Lakers are only three games into the 2020-21 season but already will be without Anthony Davis when they face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night in the first of a back-to-back.
Davis was listed on the injury report as questionable due to a right calf contusion. The minor injury previously had Davis designated as probable heading into the Christmas Day matchup against the Dallas Mavericks.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel announced at shootaround that Davis would not play against the Timberwolves. “Going into the back-to-back, we want to take advantage of our depth and be intelligent with his injury,” Vogel said.
Davis suffered the injury in the season opener against the L.A. Clippers and re-aggravated it in the third quarter of a win over the Dallas Mavericks on Christmas. He didn’t appear hindered by the calf trouble en route to scoring a game-high 28 points on a highly efficient 10-for-16 shooting.
Davis additionally connected on three of his five 3-point attempts, which Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said is a point of emphasis this season.
Coming off a short offseason and condensed training camp, Vogel had made it clear the Lakers would prioritize health and err on the side of caution, particularly early into the 2020-21 campaign.
Nevertheless the tentative plan is for Davis to return to the lineup Monday when the Lakers host the Portland Trail Blazers to conclude a four-game homestand.
Lakers plan to play LeBron
Like Davis, LeBron James also appeared on the Lakers’ injury report ahead of the Timberwolves game. However, he was listed as probable to play through a sore left ankle. James suffered a mild sprain against the Clippers but vowed he would not miss a Christmas game for the first time in his career.
Although the Lakers are mindful of the marathon they just embarked on, Vogel felt comfortable James was not at significant risk of making his injury worse. The expectation is James will also play Monday.
“As of right now it is the plan for him to play (both games of the back-to-back). But again, we’re going to be intelligent, responsible and take it on a case-by-case basis. The decision on tomorrow’s game will be made tomorrow for both guys. ”
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