After nine days off due to the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Lakers return to the court on Friday night to host the Los Angeles Clippers as they begin the homestretch of their season.
As has been the case all season, the Lakers went into the break with a number of players nursing injuries. Anthony Davis is the most impactful one, of course, although he is still not expected back for at least a month after suffering a mid-foot sprain in the Lakers’ last game against the Utah Jazz.
Outside of Davis though, the Lakers are still waiting to get both Carmelo Anthony and Avery Bradley back from minor injuries. Anthony missed the last five games before the break with a hamstring issue while Bradley missed the last one with a knee injury.
It appears the break served Anthony well as Frank Vogel revealed after Thursday’s practice that he is probable to return against the Clippers, although Bradley will remain out.
“Avery is out, still day-to-day, but he’s gonna be out for tomorrow. Melo is back and is probable for tomorrow night, so we’re hopeful he’ll be back in there. He did participate in full practice,” Vogel said.
Getting Anthony back is big for the Lakers as he has been one of their most consistent scorers and shooters all season. With Davis out, L.A. needs all of its other big frontcourt players to make up for that loss.
Bradley is less important given the Lakers’ depth at the guard position, although it’s no secret that Vogel values his defensive toughness so hopefully he isn’t out much longer. After Friday, the Lakers return to the court on Sunday night against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Vogel provides updates on Nunn and Davis
Outside of Anthony and Bradley, the Lakers’ other two players dealing with injuries are Kendrick Nunn and Davis.
Nunn has been out the whole season with a bone bruise in his knee, suffering a number of setbacks. The latest update on Nunn was that a return at the end of March can be expected, and Vogel revealed on Thursday that he is again going to begin ramping up the intensity in his workouts.
“K. Nunn is, coming out of the break, gonna ramp up his work again and see how the knee responds, but will still remain out.”
Davis also isn’t expected back for a while, but the good news is that he is no longer on crutches.
“He was here today,” Vogel said after Thursday’s practice. “Moving around gingerly without crutches, but obviously it’s gonna be a long road for him.”
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