It’s been 24 games since the Los Angeles Lakers lost Anthony Davis to a calf injury and 11 games since LeBron James joined him on the sidelines with an ankle sprain.
The Lakers found a groove without Davis in the first four games after the All-Star break, starting 4-0. But James went down in the fifth game, and it’s been a rollercoaster ride since.
All eyes are on the timelines for the return of the superstar duo as the playoff race continues to heat up with the vaunted Western Conference gunning it out for the best seed possible.
Though Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said on Thursday morning that there are no updates on Davis and James’ recovery, forward Jared Dudley, who is dealing with a knee issue of his own, provided a possible timeline for when L.A. might be fully healthy, via the Lakeshow podcast on Spectrum SportsNet:
“AD is coming along, he’s on the court and doing definitely his little workouts, his calves, I’m in the weight room with him. He’s gonna be getting on the floor more this week, he’s gonna do about 30 minutes non-stop. He’s gonna get to playing here shortly and so give him a couple more weeks. Bron just got out of the boot, he’s moving forward. And Drummond is back, so listen, within the next 3-4 weeks we’re gonna have everybody back and then we’re rolling.”
This is not an official update, however, as it derives from Dudley’s observations and knowledge about the situation. As aforementioned, the Lakers haven’t made any timelines public.
Still, seeing the approximation of when Los Angeles could potentially be at full health is an extremely promising sign. If it is a three-to-four week period for James and Davis, they could make their return on April 30 against the Sacramento Kings at home.
Staples Center is also allowing fans to return in a limited capacity starting on April 15 when the Lakers host the Boston Celtics, so fans could be in attendance and help L.A. even more with the return of the duo as they will no doubt be excited about watching them play again.
Drummond to remain starting center for Lakers
Though the Lakers have dealt with many injuries and subsequently limited personnel, the battle for the starting center job has mounted.
Despite the recent performances from Marc Gasol, the plan for Los Angeles is to keep Andre Drummond in the starting lineup. Drummond made his debut against the Milwaukee Bucks but played just 14 minutes until suffering a toe contusion.
Vogel explained the reasoning behind the tough decision but intends to utilize Drummond, Gasol and Montrezl Harrell in his system.
“We’re going to start Andre,” Vogel said. “That’s what we signed him here for. First of all, we need to give him a ton of minutes to get him acclimated in our system. There’s only X amount of games before the playoffs and he’ll be our starter.
“But like I said, we said this the whole time through, we need all three of those guys and all three of them are really good players. They’re going to help us win a championship. But no, it doesn’t change that.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!