With little more than a week remaining before NBA regular-season action kicks off on October 22, Los Angeles Lakers forward/center Anthony Davis went down with what appeared to be a sprained right thumb during his team’s Saturday preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets in Shenzhen, China. At the moment, it’s still unclear whether Davis will be available in time for the regular season, but most indications suggest that the former All-NBA big man’s injury is only a minor one.
Citing a tweet from Shams Charania of The Athletic, Bleacher Report wrote that the Lakers believe Davis did not suffer any ligament damage to his thumb and may have simply sustained a grade 1 sprain. He will, however, undergo an MRI on Sunday, once the team returns to Los Angeles ahead of their next preseason game against the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center.
As reported by ESPN, Davis suffered the injury midway through the first quarter of Saturday’s game after he attempted to swat at the ball. While the 26-year-old Lakers star got his thumb taped and tried to play through the pain, he emerged after the break between the first and second quarters with an ice pack taped to his right hand.
All in all, Davis played just 12 minutes, scoring six points on 2-for-7 shooting and adding three rebounds, two blocks, and one steal. Prior to the Nets game, the big man was averaging 19 points, six rebounds, 3.5 assists, and one blocked shot, and shooting 50 percent from the field in two preseason contests.
Looks like this is the play where Anthony Davis hurt his thumb. pic.twitter.com/ab0Z8WQODY— Laker Film Room (@LakerFilmRoom) October 12, 2019
Despite the optimism regarding Davis’ status, his recent injury history has been well-documented. After playing 75 out of 82 regular-season games in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, the six-time All-Star played in just 56 games for the New Orleans Pelicans in 2018-19, due to what Bleacher Report described as a combination of injuries and his public demand to be traded to another team.
After repeatedly failing to acquire him prior to the February 2019 trade deadline, in July, the Lakers acquired Davis in a package that included Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball, and multiple draft picks.
Given the chance that Davis might miss some time for the Lakers early on in the 2019-20 campaign, the team’s biggest concern would be its lack of size, Bleacher Report wrote. As fellow big man DeMarcus Cousins is expected to miss the entire season due to an Achilles injury, Los Angeles will likely turn to Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee if Davis has to sit out a few games in the coming days or weeks.