LOS ANGELES — Anthony Davis took part in individual training on the court Friday, four weeks to the day since he sprained the MCL in his left knee. There is optimism within the Los Angeles Lakers organization that the star big man could return to action during the long road trip to Los Angeles at the end of the month, sources have said. at ESPN.
Davis will be officially re-evaluated by team doctors early next week, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.
He was injured on December 17 when Jaden McDaniels of the Minnesota Timberwolves collapsed on his left knee. An MRI performed the following day revealed the sprain.
Davis, who missed 36 of the Lakers’ 72 regular season games last season due to various injuries, said he was in “good spirits” immediately after the diagnosis because things could have been worse.
“Just thinking to myself it’s another journey to be able to improve my mind and my body,” Davis said Dec. 19. “So use this time to be healthy and come back better than ever.”
Davis has missed the Lakers’ last 12 games and the team has gone 5-7 in that streak.
LA has three games left – in Denver on Saturday, at home against Utah on Monday and at home against Indiana on Wednesday – before its six-game road trip to the Grammy Awards begins in Orlando next Friday.
Davis trained with a bulky brace on his left knee but “moved well” during his workouts, sources told ESPN.
The 10-year-old veteran was averaging 23.3 points on 52.1 percent shooting, 9.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.2 steals this season before the injury. His jump shot, however, had been missed. Davis is shooting just 60 for 185 (32%) on shots outside the paint this season, according to NBA.com.
LeBron James has stepped up in his absence — scoring more than 30 points in 11 of his last 12 games to draw less than 0.6 ppg from Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant as the league’s top scorer — but the wins did not follow.
The Lakers have lost two straight, their latest disappointment being a 125-117 road loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.
Vogel said LA held a “spirited” movie screening on Friday to address Sacramento’s loss before the team flew to Denver.
“All the Kings game breakdowns,” Vogel said when asked what the movie session entailed. “Lost 70 points in the paint. You’re not going to win if you do that. So every single one of them got knocked out and showed all the ways they can be better.”