Lakers' Anthony Davis Says He's Glad He Avoided 'Major' Knee Injury, Surgery

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 20, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) looks up during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis accentuated the positive after suffering an MCL sprain in his left knee.

The eight-time All-Star told reporters Sunday he was glad he "avoided a major injury" and that it was "good news" he doesn't need surgery. He confirmed he's due to be reevaluated in four weeks.

Davis also said that he feared he had suffered a major injury when he heard "something pop," per ESPN's Dave McMenamin:

"I just reached a point where it was tough to walk, I had to take a break. ...I did hear something pop—and the first thing I thought of was [a major injury]. Which, I was emotional, I was just like everywhere. But like I said, thank God that it wasn't that."

Losing Davis for the rest of the season would've been a massive blow for the Lakers. The fact that he's about to miss at least a month is plenty significant, too.

Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal have both called out the 28-year-old for not necessarily rising to the occasion when LeBron James was absent.


"Anthony Davis, you know I like you as a person, but you ain't doing what you're supposed to do."<br><br>Chuck sounds off on the Lakers' struggles this season 🗣 <a href="https://t.co/HM9zReqeS5">pic.twitter.com/HM9zReqeS5</a>


"I haven't heard your name mentioned all year...step up."<a href="https://twitter.com/SHAQ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SHAQ</a> has a message for AD on this week's episode of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheBigPodcast?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheBigPodcast</a>: <a href="https://t.co/syvvhiZ9Kk">https://t.co/syvvhiZ9Kk</a> <a href="https://t.co/P3zpvUiBXF">pic.twitter.com/P3zpvUiBXF</a>

But Davis is still averaging 23.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. He's also shooting 52.1 percent from the floor, his highest clip since joining Los Angeles in 2019.

The Lakers exhausted a lot of their depth to acquire the 6'10" forward and used much of what was left to trade for Russell Westbrook. They're experiencing the risk of that team-building approach by sitting sixth in the Western Conference at 16-14, a record that's partially the result of James missing eight games because of an abdominal strain.

The injuries to Davis and James are compounding another issue for head coach Frank Vogel.

Westbrook was supposed to serve as a floor-raiser for the team, another proven ball-handler and scorer who could ease the burden on the other two stars. General manager Rob Pelinka probably didn't expect the situation to be like this, though.

The trio of Davis, James and Westbrook have logged a total of 291 minutes over 15 games, per NBA.com. That's a clear problem when Westbrook's style is so unique and requires some trial and error between him and his teammates.

Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported Tuesday the Lakers have already discussed trades involving the 2016-17 MVP, which sums up how well the dynamic has played out so far.

Sure, it would've been a five-alarm fire in L.A. if Davis' sprained MCL was any worse. But the team is still facing a period of difficulty.