The Lakers are preparing to be without Anthony Davis indefinitely, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links), who reports that the big man is expected to miss at least one month after suffering a right foot injury during Friday’s win over Denver.
There’s still no official word yet from the Lakers on Davis’ specific diagnosis or a possible recovery timetable. With both Charania and Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) reporting that Davis’ absence will be indefinite, the team may use similar phrasing when it makes its own announcement, declining to offer a set timeline for his potential return.
Davis’ injury occurred when he went up for a layup against Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and his lower leg collided with Jokic’s leg in midair. The Lakers star had already been ruled out for Sunday’s game due to right foot “soreness” and there was an expectation that he’d undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.
It’s a brutal turn of events for a Los Angeles team that appeared to be making some headway in the standings after a disastrous start. The Lakers had gone 10-6 since losing 10 of their first 12 games and seemed more inclined to pursue a trade to upgrade the rotation — it’s unclear how those plans may be affected by Davis’ absence.
It’s also an unfortunate development for Davis, who was enjoying perhaps the best stretch of his career before getting hurt on Friday. In his last 12 full games, he had averaged an eye-popping 35.0 points, 14.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.5 blocks, and 1.3 steals on 64.1% shooting.
This will be the third straight season that Davis has been seriously hampered by the injury bug. He appeared in only 36 regular season games of 72 in 2020/21 and just 40 of 82 last season. He had managed to stay relatively healthy this year up until now, having appeared in 25 of L.A.’s first 28 contests.
With Davis sidelined, backup center Thomas Bryant is expected to move into the Lakers’ starting lineup.