LOS ANGELES – Lakers big man Anthony Davis will return to the lineup against the visiting San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, barring some setback during his pre-game warmup, league sources told ESPN.
Davis will be on a 20- to 24-minute restriction, recovering from a foot injury that medical staff predicted an eight to 10-week recovery period, sources said. It had been 5½ weeks since he suffered a broken bone and a stress reaction in his right foot.
The Lakers have gone 10-10 in Davis’ absence after falling 133-115 to the LA Clippers on Tuesday.
“I didn’t expect anything but to just go out and compete,” LeBron James said after the Clippers game when asked how the Lakers fared without Davis. “It wasn’t like, ‘OK, AD is out, what can we do?’ You just go out and play the game and see what happens.”
Davis averaged 27.4 points this season prior to the injury, while also setting career records in rebounds (12.1 per game) and field goal percentage (59.4%), along with an average of 2.1 blocks.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham pulled his key rotation players 5:07 over in the fourth quarter on Tuesday, essentially conceding the loss with his team trailing 121-103.
It could have been an anticipatory move to save their legs to join Davis in Wednesday’s lineup against the Spurs.
“I’ve made an executive decision to pull the plug,” Ham explained. “Knowing that we have a game to play tomorrow, we have to give ourselves the best possible chance of winning.”
Rui Hachimura, who was traded on Monday, will also be available to play against the Spurs, according to Ham.