The lower back issues that bothered Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis preseason were exacerbated earlier this season when he landed squarely on his back when firing off a blocked shot. Davis stayed in the game and kept playing until things got worse in the Lakers’ first game against the Denver Nuggets.
This caused Davis to sit out the following game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he was back on court in Sunday night’s Lakers rematch against Denver. There was a moment late in the game when Davis appeared to aggravate that back injury again, but he stayed in contention.
After the game, the Lakers’ first win of the season, Davis admitted he had back pain.
“Quite a lot,” Davis said when asked how much pain he was in. “On putback, it just comes and goes, these little shocks that go. But at this point you’re acting out adrenaline and I know I’ll probably feel it more tonight, maybe by tomorrow. But that’s all manageable. I’m just trying to do what I can to make sure I’m grounded to help the team.
Davis struggled through the pain on Sunday by helping the Lakers get into the victory column and finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds. As he noted, it’s more about pain management than anything else as he can’t aggravate the injury.
What he will do to manage this pain, Davis plans to stick with the program.
“Keep doing what I’m doing,” the Lakers big man added. “It killed me tonight but I tried to do whatever it took to help the team win. So if that means fighting our way through, we’ll fight through it. I’ve got two days between games to get it right for New Orleans on Wednesday, but I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure we make it.
It will be interesting to see how Davis and the Lakers handle this issue going forward. At some point, they’ll have to find some time to really give Davis some rest because he can’t handle it all season. But for now, Davis is ready to assert himself and that hasn’t stopped him from playing at the level that’s expected of him.
James says Davis needs to ‘do what’s best for his body’
LeBron James and the rest of the Lakers understand how important Davis is to this team’s success. But LeBron also knows that what matters most to Davis is taking care of his body amid this back injury.
James recently commented that Davis has to “do what’s best for his body” to deal with this back problem and while he wants to play in every game, he needs to manage things and trust the staff to make sure he’s not taking care of his body anymore uses type of danger.
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