The Los Angeles Lakers were finally granted some good news as Anthony Davis appears set to return from injury against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.
Davis has been out of the lineup since February 14 with a calf strain and Achilles tendinosis, but the big man has cleared all his rehab checkmarks and can finally get back to suiting up again. In his absence, the Lakers did well to stay afloat in the standings, maintain the fifth-best record in the vaunted Western Conference.
While getting Davis back is beyond a welcomed development, it will take time for the 28-year-old to get his legs back under him. Davis believes it could take a couple of games to get his wind back. “No matter what you do, you can’t emulate basketball shape,” Davis said. “You know, game shape. That’s just going to take time of just continuing playing games and getting that wind.
“And then, as far as like the rust and stuff, that just comes naturally. I felt good the past couple of weeks, felt good in practice today as far as the passing and the shotmaking and things like that. I thought it was going to be something drastic, but it wasn’t. It just comes with reps. Just being able to shoot the shots in the game and having the confidence to make them. Maybe a couple games it’ll take.”
Anytime a player misses more than two months of on-court basketball, there will be some sort of acclimation period. Davis is no different as there will presumably be moments where he does not look like himself because of the rust and time off.
Still, him being back changes the entire complexion of the team and they will be better off for it.
Anthony Davis to be on minutes restriction for several games
Upon his return, Davis will be limited to just about 15 minutes of action as he works his back to form. Head coach Frank Vogel expects that to remain true for at least a few games. “I think it takes multiple games,” explained Vogel. “Honestly, if you’re out for this long it usually takes a couple weeks, to be honest. To really feel like you have your legs under you and your rhythm and timing is back as well as working in with new teammates.
“So it’s gonna take some time and as far as the minutes restriction, it’s really just gonna be evaluated on a game-to-game basis based on how he feels. But it doesn’t feel like it’s gonna be too many games where he’s on a restriction.”
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