The Los Angeles Lakers anticipate Anthony Davis‘ long-awaited return in the coming days. The star big man has missed the last six weeks due to an MCL sprain in his left knee. Before Davis returns, LeBron James spoke for all Lakers fans in his demand for his teammate to put his health first.
Anthony Davis is nearing closer to his imminent return
The Lakers are inching closer to seeing their star big man back on the court.
Davis recently received clearance for on-court contact, leading him to ramp up his rehab work. Recent reports suggested that he could return at some point during the team’s current six-game road trip. Davis held a game-time decision designation for Sunday’s contest against the Miami Heat.
The Lakers elected to hold him out despite encouraging pregame workouts before the last two games. Meanwhile, head coach Frank Vogel voiced the team plans to have him work out before Tuesday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
“I don’t know that yet,” Vogel said via the LA Times. “And tomorrow he’s gonna get some work in, and we’ll see how his body is responding at that point in time.”
Los Angeles has struggled without Davis, posting a 7-10 record in the last 17 games pushing them further down the Western Conference playoff picture. As the eight-time All-Star nears his return, LeBron James holds a singular request.
LeBron James speaks for all Lakers fans with his request for Anthony Davis to prioritize his health
The Lakers star big man appears to be days away from making his imminent return, which has his teammates and coaches excited to have him back.
Davis will play a significant role in pushing the Lakers toward the playoffs and potentially much more. However, LeBron James only wants Davis back when he’s fully healthy.
“We’ll say health first then rhythm,” James said via Lakers Nation. “Whenever AD is ready, we’re going to love that. That’s for sure. One of our biggest guns that we have and having him on the floor creates so much for us offensively and defensively. We’re able to do so much more, but his health is what’s most important.
“Once we know that he’s healthy and he knows that he’s healthy, we’ll get him back on the floor and start getting his wind and his rhythm.”
James’ comments underline Davis’ importance in the Lakers’ push toward a realistic NBA title contention. When healthy, he’s the defensive anchor while providing much-needed scoring that takes the offensive pressure off the 17-time All-Star to lead the charge every night.
Beyond that, Davis has had a long history with injuries as he’s missed significant playing time the last two seasons. He sat out for two months due to a calf injury related to his Achilles tendon, which wound up leading to a groin strain flaring up in the playoffs. It’s one of the lingering frustrations many Lakers have had with Davis, as he’s struggled to stay healthy.
As dominant as James has been in his 19th campaign, the Lakers’ championship hopes lie on Davis returning and staying healthy.
LeBron James must continue to lead the charge
With Davis still on the mend, James must continue to lead the charge offensively.
The 37-year-old is showcasing he’s still an ageless wonder, posting 17 straight games with at least 25 points, joining Hall of Famers Kobe Bryant and Elgin Baylor to accomplish that feat in franchise history. James has shown no slowing down and doesn’t plan to experience that any time soon.
“I’m in one of the best zones I’ve been offensively in my career and I don’t plan on stopping it,” said James, who ranks in the league in scoring with 29.0 points per contest.
Until Davis returns, James will need to continue the heavy offensive lifting to keep the Lakers afloat.