Anthony Davis is reportedly "unlikely to play" in the Los Angeles Lakers' Game 5 matchup versus the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday due to a strained groin, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
However, Charania added there's "optimism about Davis' status as [the] series continues and as he is evaluated day-to-day."
Later on Monday, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told reporters an MRI revealed Davis has a groin strain and is officially questionable for Game 5.
Davis' health concerns remain the primary storyline for the Lakers. He was questionable ahead of Game 4's loss to the Phoenix Suns with a sprained knee, though he ultimately started the game.
But a groin strain forced him to miss the entirety of the second half, calling into question his availability for a crucial Game 5 in Phoenix.
"I thought he was laboring a little bit [even before the groin injury]," Lakers coach Frank Vogel told reporters after Game 4. "He was saying that his knee was sore, but there was no way that he was not going to play. I thought he gave a heck of a run at it, trying to compete through pain."
With the series currently tied, Davis' status is crucially important as the Lakers look to repeat as champions. When healthy this postseason, he's averaged a cool 27.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.
That level of production is impossible to replace. And the team simply operates in a different manner when Davis is sidelined.
"We've been derailed this year, but at the same time, we've been through it [before]," Kyle Kuzma told reporters after Game 4. "We're tailor-made to one type of basketball for when AD is out there. When he wasn't out there, we had to figure out on the fly how we were going to execute offensively."
In Game 5, players like Kuzma and Markieff Morris will need to step up for the Lakers at the 4 if Davis is indeed unavailable.