The Los Angeles Lakers endured a scare but had good fortune on their side when Anthony Davis landed on his back in the third quarter of a win over the New York Knicks more than one week ago.
Davis writhed on the ground in pain as teammates and the Lakers medical staff huddled around him. The six-time All-Star was slow to his feet and walked gingerly to the locker room. X-rays were negative and Davis was diagnosed that night with a bruised his sacrum — bottom part of the spine above the tailbone.
He underwent an MRI the following day, which also came back negative and the Lakers at that time updated his injury to a gluteus maximus contusion. Davis surprisingly traveled with the team for a two-game road trip, but he’s yet to take the court since Jan. 7.
That may be soon considering Davis participated in a portion of Wednesday’s shootaround. “Did some work this morning and still experiencing some soreness and not ready to play,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said.
“He moved a lot more but it wasn’t live action. Coaches were bumping him around a little bit and trying to test it. Still not ready. We’ll have an off-day [Thursday] and practice day Friday. Hopefully we’ll be able to get him into some more activity and potentially live practice on Friday.”
The prospect of being without Davis for any stretch of games once appeared to be a daunting reality, but the Lakers have managed to continue forging ahead. With a practice session scheduled before their road trip, it’s possible Davis returns this weekend.
“We’ll see how Friday’s practice goes. If he’s back for the Saturday game, he’s back,” Vogel said. “If not, we’ll continue to look at it. A lot of times in this situation, if he needs live work, we’ll have practice for that reason.”
While the Lakers are willing to accommodate to Davis’ needs, it won’t amount to rushing his return. “I just think we’re going to take an intelligent approach to injuries with all of our players and in particular someone like A.D.,” Vogel explained.
“If we were losing and he still wasn’t ready, we wouldn’t have him in there. We’re going to make sure this injury is behind him and we won’t have him back before then, whether we’re winning or losing.”