After months away from the court, Anthony Davis made his return for the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night although it was spoiled by the New Orleans Pelicans, who were able to strengthen their grip on the nine seed.
Davis had missed the Lakers’ previous 18 games with a mid-foot sprain but was able to tough out 37 minutes against the Pelicans. It almost looked like the star big man did not miss a beat as he was able to record 23 points, 12 rebounds and six assists while displaying his normal defensive prowess.
When discussing how his body felt after the game, Davis said it felt fine though did admit that it started to get sore as the night went on.
“I felt good. Last four minutes was definitely a struggle,” Davis admitted. “Foot started getting a little sore, but up to that point, I felt really good. We know the situation that we’re in even though the soreness in the foot and soreness in LB’s ankle, we felt like this was a game we had to play. Obviously, the next five games as well. Just try to control what we can control. Our mindset is to go 5-0 in these games. Let the chips fall where they may.
“We dropped this one, but we got five left to try to control what we can control, and hopefully things will fall in our favor.”
Normally, someone like Davis would take more time to rehab from something like a foot injury, though he acknowledged that the ramifications of the Pelicans game pushed him to play.
“That was always tough. Being on the sideline when the guys are out there battling every night and especially in the situation that we’re in. This was definitely a huge game for us, so I definitely didn’t want to sit out this game. I even wanted to play in the last New Orleans game as well. That whole road trip. That was my initial thought when I say that the foot wasn’t quite ready for me to go out and play knowing that the game in New Orleans was also a big game for us.
“So just trying to come back as soon as possible and able to come back tonight.”
With all the ailments Davis has endured, it was a mild surprise that he was able to suit up so soon but the stakes were just too high for him to sit out. Davis sounded eager to get back to playing, and it showed on the floor as he played with good energy and pace.
While it looked like the larger-than-expected load did not hamper him in any way, the concern will be how his body responds in the next 24 hours. The Lakers get a day off before having to play the Denver Nuggets, so all eyes will be on Davis’ recovery.
Anthony Davis preparing to play against Nuggets
If the training staff could have their way, they would probably like Davis to sit a game before suiting up again but there is no way the Lakers can afford to have him out. Davis understands what he means to the team, and emphasized he is going to do what it takes to play against Denver.
It will all depend on how his foot responds to playing in this game though, especially with the quick turnaround to Sunday afternoon.
“The urgency was always there to get back. The foot was just not participating and then after the road trip, it was just do it. Just go and see what happens. Not all the way where I wanted it to be. Maybe that’s why there was discomfort in the fourth quarter. Got a day off tomorrow to get it ready for Sunday, which is a quick turnaround. I’m going to do everything in my power to be ready for Sunday,” Davis said.
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