NBA

Lakers center Davis says foot felt great on return from a 'long five-and-a-half weeks' out

By Sports Desk January 26, 2023

Anthony Davis felt great on his return from a foot injury but concedes it was a "long five-and-a-half weeks" on the sidelines.

The All-Star returned for the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time since December 17 as they won 113-104 over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

Davis, who had been sidelined with a fractured bone spur and stress reaction in his right foot, played 26 minutes off the bench in his return, scoring 21 points with 12 rebounds and four blocks.

The center had been in near career-best form prior to the injury, averaging 27.4 points per game as well as a career-high 12.1 rebounds, with his successful return a major boost for the Lakers who improved to 23-26 with Wednesday's win.

"I felt great. I felt good out on the floor," Davis told Spectrum Sportsnet after the game. "The foot feels fine. It was good to be out there with the guys battling. It was good because it was a close game. We really had to battle until the last four, five minutes, it was a good test for me going into this road trip.

"Overall, I'm happy to be back on the court with these guys. It's been a long five-and-a-half weeks, so it feels good to come back and get the win and ultimately be back out on the floor."

Davis checked into the game with 4:22 left in the first quarter, playing on a managed workload.

"Anytime you come back, that first game, that first practice whatever, you're always tender," Davis said. "You want to test it out, see how it feels in live action, in a real game where it matters.

"That's the ultimate test and for that first 30 seconds to a minute I wanted to see if I felt anything or if anything would flare up. When I didn’t feel anything, my mind was like, 'it's time to go'."

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham reassured that they were confident Davis has fully recovered from the issue, having endured numerous injuries in recent seasons.

"He's gone through some rigorous therapy, weight training, weight-bearing exercises, activity on the court - both individually and some group workouts," Ham told reporters prior to the game.

"We would save him from himself if we thought there was any type of threat or harm that he could do to himself.

"He had these boxes that he had to check, and he's checked all of them, so we feel comfortable with him appearing tonight."

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