LeBron James and Anthony Davis have missed a combined 60 games in 2021-22, derailing the Los Angeles Lakers season.
Davis has been out since Feb. 16, when he sprained his foot in the last game before the All-Star break. That’s been the 29-year-old’s second month-plus break this season, as he previously paused with an MCL sprain between December and January.
James joined Davis on the sidelines last week, spraining his ankle in the loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. But as the two sides meet again this Friday, the Lakers should be well-equipped to avenge the defeat.
The Lakers announced ahead of tipoff that James and Davis will be back on the court at Crypto.com Arena when L.A. hosts New Orleans. James was the most questionable to play as he was a true game-time decision. After warming up and testing out the ankle though, he decided to give it a shot.
The Lakers approach the Friday clash as the owners of the Western Conference’s 11th-best record, which wouldn’t earn them a spot in the Play-In Tournament.
But a win over New Orleans would place them 1.0 games behind the Pelicans — and potentially allow them to return to the West’s top-10 if the San Antonio Spurs lose to the Portland Trail Blazers that same night.
Frank Vogel: Davis worked ‘extremely hard’ to return for Lakers
Head coach Frank Vogel said Davis has done all he could to make himself available for the Lakers in the defining part of the 2021-22 season.
“He’s been working extremely hard and he wants to get back as quickly as possible,” Vogel said.
“That’s the energy that we’ve felt from Anthony in terms of getting cleared and passing certain hurdles and then obviously ramping up his work, letting the increased workload recover and see how it responds. He’s shown a great urgency to get back on the floor so hopefully, we get him back soon.”
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