Anthony Davis exited his third preseason game with the Lakers early due to a hand injury, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com, who says the initial diagnosis is a sprained right thumb. The injury occurred during the first quarter in the Lakers/Nets exhibition game in Shenzhen, China.
While Davis initially kept playing after getting the thumb taped up, he returned to the locker room before the second quarter and didn’t re-enter the game after that. The injury doesn’t sound serious, but AD will undergo further testing on Sunday after the Lakers return to Los Angeles. There’s no X-ray machine at the arena in Shenzhen, notes Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that initial tests showed no ligament damage. According to Charania, it’s believed to be a Grade 1 sprain, but an MRI on Sunday should confirm the diagnosis.
The Lakers still have three games – all against the Warriors – on their preseason schedule before they open the regular season on October 22 vs. the Clippers. It remains to be seen whether Davis will play in any of those games against Golden State.
In his first two preseason games as a Laker, not counting Saturday’s brief appearance, Davis averaged 19.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 3.5 APG in 22 minutes per contest.
With the Lakers and Nets having now completed their exhibition games in Shanghai and Shenzhen and set to return to the U.S. on Sunday, it will be interesting to see how the NBA/China controversy plays out from here. Things have been mostly quiet over the last couple days, but the league may be more willing to discuss the situation once all its players are back stateside.