The Los Angeles Lakers are off to an incredible start this season, but things haven't been so easy for them lately -- even if they've still been winning. Their last three games have gone to overtime, the first time that's happened since 1991, and they've barely squeaked out victories over some of the worst teams in the league.
One reason why is they've been playing without star big man Anthony Davis. He's missed the last two games due to Achilles tendinosis, and it's still not clear when he'll return to the lineup. However, he did practice on Thursday and gave some insight into his situation.
Davis explained that he's erring on the side of caution because he doesn't want to take any chances when it comes to his Achilles. Via ESPN:
"I think every other game ... I've wanted to play in. This is just a different circumstance with it being an Achilles. If it was a quad or finger, anything like that, I wouldn't mind playing. But I just don't really want to play around with an Achilles. Today was the first day we were able to practice, get some run-in with some guys to really test it out."
"I just don't want to play a game where I still feel it and then get hurt and now I'm out for the playoffs or whatever or for multiple weeks, where it's something I can't control and maintain right now where you miss two games or three games early on in the season or midseason and be ready to go for the rest of the season."
This is obviously the right approach for Davis and the Lakers to take. We've seen a number of torn Achilles tendons in recent years, and even if it doesn't completely derail careers like it used to it's still one of the worst injuries an athlete can suffer. There's no reason to let a minor Achilles issue fester and potentially lead to the worst case scenario.
It might make things more difficult in the short term, but the Lakers are pretty much biding their time until the playoffs anyway and have the championship experience that will allow them to flip the switch. Plus, for all the concern they're still 20-6 and just half a game out of first place in the Western Conference. A lot of teams would love to have their "problems."