Los Angeles Lakers star forward Anthony Davis suffered another disappointing injury after spraining the MCL in his left knee. Davis is expected to miss the next month, leaving the Lakers without their centerpiece. The eight-time All-Star revealed a scary detail that could have led things down a more devastating path.
Anthony Davis expected to miss at least four weeks
The Lakers were dealt another tough blow after Davis suffered an MCL sprain in his left knee.
The injury occurred in the third quarter of Friday’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves after forward Jaden McDaniels stumbled into the star big man’s knee. Davis required assistance off the floor and into the locker room.
The 28-year-old had managed to avoid any notable injuries, as he played in 27 out of the team’s first 30 games. However, the knee injury forces him to miss extended time for the second straight campaign. Last year, he appeared in only 36 regular-season games after sitting out for three months due to a calf injury related to his Achilles tendon.
Davis is amid another highly productive season, averaging 23.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks. However, he’s struggled to find consistency with his outside shot, hitting a career-low 17.9% from beyond the arc. Davis remains one of the league’s best defenders, but his shooting woes are a lingering issue.
As he prepares to miss another extended stretch, Davis shed some light on his injury situation.
Anthony Davis revealed a frightening detail about the knee sprain that threatens to derail Lakers season
The Lakers are moving forward without a key piece to the puzzle, but matters could have been worse.
On Sunday, Davis revealed he heard a frightening pop in his left knee that led him to briefly believe he had suffered a major injury.
“I just reached a point where it was tough to walk,” Davis said via Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “I had to take a break…I did hear something pop — and the first thing I thought of was [a major injury]. Which, I was emotional, I was just like everywhere. But like I said, thank God that it wasn’t that.”
Davis certainly dodged a bullet as he’s had a long history of injuries and could have headed down a far worse path. How McDaniels landed into his knee could have seen him suffer far worse physical damage.
The 28-year-old is in good spirits, sounding quite hopeful that he will return without a setback in a few weeks.
“Mentally I’m fine. I’m in a good space,” Davis said. “Last year was a more ‘me’ thing. This year was like a freakish play. So knowing that nothing I really could have done to avoid it, I guess, keeps me in a good place. The locker room keeps me in a good place. People around me outside of basketball keep me in a good place. Great conversation with my wife about it; she’s the one who keeps me in a good place, for real.”
Davis is the key to the Lakers’ championship push as the defensive anchor and offensive centerpiece. All that will push the team to move forward cautiously with his recovery to get him back on the court.
Lakers may look to acquire outside frontcourt talent
With Davis out for at least the next month, the front office may add outside help.
Beyond the eight-time All-Star, Los Angeles lacks significant frontcourt depth, with Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan as the only two true centers. With Howard out due to the health and safety protocol, it leaves Jordan as the lone big man, but his role within the rotation is shaky at best.
All that has guided the Lakers to roll with a small-ball lineup that features James playing center as he did on Sunday night against the Chicago Bulls. Los Angeles has found success with the four-time league MVP in that spot, but it’s a lineup the team wants to sparsely use to keep him fresh and avoid significant wear and tear.
Trevor Ariza’s return gives the Lakers more versatility, but Los Angeles may have to turn to outside help through free agency or trade market. Namely, Myles Turner, Mo Bamba, and Jerami Grant could become prominent targets.
However, the front office can’t make any significant moves unless they are willing to trade Talen Horton-Tucker. His $9 million salary is the largest outside their big 3. Los Angeles is heading toward the inevitable path of bringing aboard additional frontcourt talent while Davis remains sidelined.