Lakers' Anthony Davis to Return from Injury vs. Celtics After Missing 5 Games

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07:  Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the first half of a game against the New York Knicks at Staples Center on January 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers announced star forward Anthony Davis will be available to play Monday night against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel also revealed Davis would be limited to 28 minutes upon his return, featuring seven-minute shifts in each quarter.

Davis had missed the team's last five games after landing hard on his back in a 117-87 win over the New York Knicks on Jan. 7.

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It looked like Davis may have been seriously hurt, but he only suffered a bruised tailbone.

Durability has been a concern for the 26-year-old. He missed 26 games in 2018-19 and logged 70-plus appearances just twice in his first seven seasons. However, prior to his tailbone injury—the result of a fluky accident—he had only missed two of Los Angeles' first 37 games.

The Lakers went 4-1 in his absence, which says less about Davis than it does the overall improvements Los Angeles has made since last year. LeBron James is playing at an MVP-caliber level, and the additions of Danny Green and Avery Bradley have helped the team climb to third in defensive rating (104.7 points allowed per 100 possessions), per NBA.com.

Davis, for his part, is a lock to reach his seventh All-Star Game. He's averaging 27.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game since arriving from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Heading into Monday's holiday slate, the Lakers hold a 4.5-game lead on the Los Angeles Clippers for the top seed in the Western Conference. Davis' return should help L.A. maintain its grip on the conference's best record.

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