Davis will begin ramping up his rehab when the team returns to Los Angeles later this week, McMenamin reports. The Lakers play in Denver tonight, but then have a five-game home stand starting Thursday against Dallas.
The 29-year-old is dealing with a bone spur fractured off the navicular bone in his right foot, as well as a stress reaction in that same bone. However, it’s the stress reaction that has been Davis’ primary focus, with the bone spur considered an old injury that he’s been unknowingly playing through for several years.
Davis sustained the stress reaction on December 16 against Denver. He was dominating on both ends of the court leading up to the injury, averaging an eye-popping 35.0 points, 14.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.5 blocks, and 1.3 steals on 64.1% shooting in his last 12 full games.
Both Davis and head coach Darvin Ham told reporters at the end of last month that the pain from the stress reaction had subsided, with Davis hopeful that he might be able to return in around four weeks, though he wasn’t committed to that number. Still, McMenamin’s report lines up with what Davis said, so it appears things have been going well since the last update.
Center Thomas Bryant, who is on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, has excelled in Davis’ absence, McMenamin notes. In the 12 games since Davis got injured, Bryant is averaging 16.9 points and 10.6 rebounds while shooting 66.9% from the floor and 74.2% from the line.
The Lakers have gone 7-5 during that span. During the team’s five-game winning streak, Bryant is averaging 21.2 points and 13.6 rebounds while shooting 71.9% from the floor and 86.7% from the line. Superstar forward LeBron James believes the three players can be successful together, though Bryant and Davis have yet to share the court this season, according to McMenamin.
“I’ve already kind of had visions of what that could possibly look like with the frontcourt of myself, AD and Thomas on the floor together,” James said of Bryant’s contributions. “I think it could be extremely beneficial for our ballclub.”
Speaking of James, he has been downgraded to questionable for Monday’s contest due to left ankle soreness, tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic.
The Lakers are currently 19-21, the No. 11 seed in the West, but only trail the No. 5 seed Kings by two games.