Anthony Davis’ Disturbing Injury Update Paints a Grim Picture for the Remainder of the Los Angeles Lakers Season

Few would ever be shocked to see Anthony Davis and “injured” in the same sentence.

The ailing big man has struggled to stay healthy throughout his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers. And even when he is playing, you’d be hard-pressed to find a game in which Davis isn’t listed on the injury report for some type of minor condition.

This season, AD has missed 21 of LA’s 52 games, 16 of which stemmed from a sprained MCL suffered in December. While the All-Star is officially back in action, his less-than-ideal update regarding his knee spells trouble for the Lakers’ dwindling hopes for the season.

Anthony Davis admits his knee hasn’t fully recovered

Davis missed a good chunk of the season after spraining his MCL against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 17. He returned to action on Jan. 25 and has suited up for four of LA’s last five contests.

It’s certainly encouraging to see AD playing again for the Purple and Gold. But he’s not exactly at 100%, as he told the media after Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

“Body is feeling good, besides the MCL this year, which I’m still trying to get all the way healthy,” Davis said via All Lakers FanNation. “But besides that, I feel great.”

Even with a poor shooting effort from beyond the arc, Davis has been a huge contributor when healthy. The 28-year-old is averaging 23.4 points on 52.5% shooting, the latter of which is his highest mark since 2017-18. He’s also pulling down 9.7 boards per game, a stark improvement after last season’s career-low average of 7.9 rebounds.

Davis’ knee should be a big concern for the Lakers

The Lakers are no strangers to injured players. The once-invincible LeBron James is feeling the effects of Father Time, missing 16 games and counting. In fact, only four players have played in more than 40 games for LA, the most notable of whom is Russell Westbrook.

That being said, the Purple and Gold can’t rely on their old roster to suddenly stay healthy. Now add Davis’ admission into the mix, and it’s doubtful LA will have a full roster at any point this season.

AD’s knee won’t be relieved of pain unless he stops playing on it. However, considering LA has a miserable 25-27 record, it needs the eight-time All-Star to suit up for most, if not all, of the remaining games in order to salvage the season. That means playing the injury-prone big man even when he’s in pain.

Not an ideal situation, to say the least.

If the Lakers were having a better go of things, they very easily could have decided to rest AD until he was truly 100%. Instead, they were forced to put him out on the court prematurely, risking his long-term health in the process.

The Lakers will have to carefully monitor Anthony Davis

Based on the fact Davis has played more than 70 games just twice across 10 seasons, it’s likely he’s played many games through some level of pain or discomfort.

The good news is that even when playing below 100%, he’s still wildly productive. Wednesday marked the return of vintage AD, who dropped 30 points and secured 15 rebounds in a comeback win over the Portland Trail Blazers. It was Davis’ ninth 30-point effort of the season but only his second since Nov. 21.

Clearly, he is showing he can play with his less-than-perfect MCL. Should he play is an entirely different story. But all the Lakers can do is hope for the best and do everything they can to have one of their superstars available for a big second half.

All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.

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