LOS ANGELES — Lakers star big man Anthony Davis will return to the lineup Wednesday against the visiting San Antonio Spurs, barring any setback during his pregame warmups, league sources told ESPN.
Davis will be on a 20- to 24-minute restriction, easing back from a foot injury that led some medical staff to expect an eight- to 10-week recovery time, sources said. It was 5½ weeks ago that he suffered a bone fracture and stress reaction in his right foot.
The Lakers have gone 10-10 in Davis’ absence after falling to the LA Clippers 133-115 on Tuesday.
“I didn’t expect anything but to just go out there 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 have to go out and play the game and see what happens.”
Davis averaged 27.4 points this season prior to the injury, while also posting career bests in rebounds (12.1 per game) and field goal percentage (59.4%), along with an average of 2.1 blockages.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham pulled his key rotation players with 5:07 left in the fourth quarter Tuesday, essentially conceding the loss with his team trailing 121-103.
It could have been an anticipatory move to save their leg to join Davis in Wednesday’s lineup against the Spurs.
“I made a management decision to pull the plug,” Ham explained. “Knowing we have a game to play tomorrow, we have to give ourselves the best possible chance to win.”
Rui Hachimura, acquired in a trade on Monday, will also be available to play against the Spurs, according to Ham.