Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis is expected to return to the team's lineup on Monday night for their matchup with the Indiana Pacers, according to Dave McMenamin. Davis sat out of the Lakers win over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, though it seems that was more of a precaution than anything.
"Just it being a back-to-back, the load he was carrying, specifically with [LeBron James] out, it's just the smart and right thing to do," Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said on Saturday. "We don't want to push him this early in the season. And when you're talking about different muscles and ligaments, it's something that can easily turn into a year-long issue. So just to avoid that, we don't want to put any additional strain on the area.
"The medical people decided it was the right thing to do and I totally agree."
Injuries have been a major issue for Davis lately, with an array of ailments limiting him to just 76 total games in the last two seasons. So far he has avoided any serious issues this season, though. Prior to sitting out on Saturday, he had missed just one game all season, and it was due to a non-COVID illness.
Finally healthy and able to find a rhythm, Davis has once again looked like one of the best big men in the league. He's averaging 26.3 points, 12.8 rebounds and 3.8 stocks (steals plus blocks) per game while shooting 57 percent from the field. Over the last two weeks, he had been especially impressive to help the Lakers get back on track after a disastrous 2-10 start.
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With LeBron James out of the lineup for most of that stretch due to an adductor strain, Davis put the Lakers on his back to key this 5-1 hot streak. Davis has played in five of those games and has averaged 33.4 points, 17.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. In the one game that they did lose, to the Phoenix Suns, with 37 points, 21 rebounds, five steals and five blocks.
Davis' return will be key for the Lakers as they return home and welcome the surprising Pacers to town. Led by Tyrese Haliburton and long-time Lakers trade target Myles Turner, the Pacers have won seven of their last 10 and sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.