AP source: Lakers' Davis has foot injury, set to miss weeks

Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers has a right foot injury that's expected to keep him sidelined for several weeks

ByTIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer
December 18, 2022, 8:40 PM
Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis leaves the court after the team's 122-118 overtime loss in an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis leaves the court after the team's 122-118 overtime loss in an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
The Associated Press

Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers has a right foot injury that's expected to keep him sidelined for several weeks, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The severity of the injury was still being determined Sunday and that was keeping the team from forming a specific timetable for his return, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither Davis nor the Lakers had released any information publicly.

The Athletic first reported that Davis was facing an extended absence, and multiple media outlets also confirmed the injury status.

Before the Lakers hosted Washington on Sunday night, Darvin Ham confirmed the team has no firm timetable for Davis' return. The rookie head coach said Davis will see more specialists on Sunday night.

“The season is fairly early, and he just has to take care of his business, starting first and foremost with him getting back healthy,” Ham said.

Davis — who leads the Lakers with averages of 27.4 points and 12.1 rebounds per game, numbers that had him in the NBA's MVP conversation — was injured in the first half of the Lakers' win over Denver on Friday night. He did not play after halftime.

It is yet another in a long line of injury woes for the eight-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA selection. He missed 36 of the Lakers' 72 regular-season games in the 2020-21 season, then didn't play in 42 of their 82 games last season.

Davis missed his fifth game of this season due to injury when the Lakers hosted the Wizards. He has been managing lower back pain for several weeks, but he has also been on a run of frequently spectacular play, scoring at least 25 points in his last 12 consecutive games that didn't end early due to injury.

Ham said his advice to Davis was “(to) just focus on your health, and whatever the issue is, once it gets alleviated, just start the process to get back on the floor, and that’s as simple as that.

“Injuries are a big part of our league and a part of major sports in general,” Ham added. "Unfortunately, he’s had the injury history that he’s had, but there’s no time to cry over spilled milk.”

The Lakers don't have a comparable replacement for Davis, but Thomas Bryant could help if he can match his performance in the second half against the Nuggets after Davis' injury. Bryant finished with 21 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes.

The Lakers have been gradually building momentum since their 2-10 start to the season, winning 10 of their past 16 games. They also suffered two of those losses because Davis failed to make last-minute free throws that likely would have iced games the Lakers eventually lost in overtime.

Davis' latest lengthy absence is a serious threat to their hopes of returning to playoff contention, but Ham is confident the Lakers can endure.

“The first priority is to take care of his health,” Davis said. “The hell with what people have to say. Just block out that noise. We have a phenomenal medical staff. Really, really brilliant people within the organization who’s going to make sure he has the best medical care, and then once we find out what’s going on, we’ll act accordingly.”

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