The Los Angeles Lakers continue to try and stay afloat with superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis still on the sideline. Frank Vogel’s team has maintained a high level of defense with both out, but they have struggled to keep up offensively.
Additionally, the Lakers continue to fall down the standings, which is a concern to some, though not to those in the locker room. The biggest question moving forward for this team is when will Davis and James return to the court, and Vogel provided an update on their progress.
“Yeah, they’ll both be on the road with us. AD continues to ramp-up, but still a ways away,” Vogel said before the team’s contest with the Los Angeles Clippers. “LeBron is still out indefinitely.”
It was recently revealed that Davis had been cleared to ramp up his on-court activities which led to some hope that he could be back in the Purple and Gold soon, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Davis hasn’t seen the court since February 14 and the Lakers undoubtedly hope to get him back sooner rather than later.
As for James, the original report was that he could miss 4-6 weeks, so things still being unclear on his return makes more sense. The recovery time on a high ankle sprain is something that varies from case to case and there is no procedures that make it go away faster.
Vogel also provided clarity on their recovery process, however, noting that the timeframes are not the cause of any further issues from either of his two stars.
“No setback. Just being cautious with making sure the build-up is happening at the right pace and that this thing is totally behind him.”
The most important thing for each of these players is that they recover 100 percent before returning to the court. Especially in the case of Davis, there are concerns about potentially suffering an Achilles tear in the future so whatever can be done to ensure these are one-time issues and don’t continue to be a problem in the future.
The hope is for a return for both by the playoffs and as long as that happens, the Lakers will take their chances against anyone in the postseason.
Lakers not concerned with the Western Conference standings
The Lakers’ struggles without James and Davis are expected, but with the Western Conference so tough, the Lakers now find themselves in a logjam within the West. Just a couple of games are the difference between the Lakers being one of the top seeds and being in the play-in tournament.
But they aren’t thinking about that in any way. “We’re not looking at the standings at all. We’re just looking at winning the next game,” Vogel said.
Talen Horton-Tucker agreed with that sentiment. “For me personally, I’m not,” Horton-Tucker said. “As a group, we don’t hear too much, we just try focus on the next game ahead. We feel like if we take care of what we do, the standings will take care of themselves. With the guys we have out now, when everything comes full circle I think we’ll be fine.”
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