|Davis could return this week from injury. (Getty Images)|
Coach Monty Williams said injured rookie forward Anthony Davis is expected to return to the lineup next week. Davis missed his 11th consecutive game Saturday night against the Miami Heat because of a stress reaction in his left ankle.
"We should get some help when we get Anthony back sometime next week,'' Williams said after Saturday night's 106-90 loss to the Miami Heat. Davis' rehabilitation work was intensified last week and he appears to be making progress. He accompanied the team to Miami but was not made available to the media.
The Hornets need Davis back on both ends. They're 30th in defensive efficiency, but their offense has also struggled badly. Davis, though just a rookie, should help on both ends. The biggest missing component for the Hornets right now is talent, which Davis has buckets of.
Missing a month isn't enough to scuttle his Rookie of the Year campaign, either, with Damian Lillard coming back down to earth. But Davis should only return if that stress reaction has completely evaporated. The future is what matters with Davis. This year is a trial season gone wrong, anyway.