Lakers Rumors: Anthony Davis Could Return from Knee Injury Toward End of January

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 14, 2022

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis plays against the Memphis Grizzlies in an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)
AP Photo/Nikki Boertman

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis is still working his way back from a sprained knee injury that has kept him out for the past month, but there is reportedly optimism he could return toward the end of January. 

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, the Lakers are hopeful Davis "could return to game action sometime during L.A.'s long road trip at the end of the month."

Davis has been practicing with a bulky brace on his left knee but has been "moving well" during his workouts, sources told McMenamin.

Head coach Frank Vogel told reporters Friday that Davis will be reevaluated early next week before the team provides another update. 

Davis suffered an MCL sprain in his left knee Dec. 17 against the Minnesota Timberwolves and hasn't played since.

The 28-year-old missed two games with what was described as knee soreness earlier in December, while thumb and thigh issues limited him at the beginning of the season.

It creates more question marks about the durability of the forward, who played only 36 games in 2020-21 because of an Achilles injury. Only twice in his first nine seasons in the NBA did he reach 70 games played.

The eight-time All-Star remains an impact player, averaging 23.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game this season.

Davis was one of the best players in the NBA in 2019-20 while helping the Lakers take home the NBA title. The two-way star averaged 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game that year, earning first-team All-Defensive honors.

The Lakers could use this level of production to return to contention in the Western Conference, but they have also shown a willingness to go with a small lineup.

Los Angeles has gone 5-7 in its past 12 games without Davis in the lineup. It ranks seventh in the Western Conference standings with a 21-21 record.