After suffering a gruesome foot injury after coming down on the foot of Rudy Gobert, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis has worked tirelessly to return to the court and try and help his team make the playoffs.
The big man made his return and while he has been good in his two games back, he is clearly not 100% and the Lakers still have been unable to get on the winning side of things.
But as long as the Lakers still have a chance at getting into the Play-In Tournament, Davis plans on being out on the court even if he isn’t quite at his best. Speaking with Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, Davis insisted that he will push through the pain for his team:
“At this point, I know what we’re playing for,” Davis said. “If I’ve got to go through this pain — hopefully it’s not the last four games, hopefully it’s more — then, so be it. I know that, me, myself and my team, know I left it out on the floor. Just like I did in the playoffs last year as well. Give myself a chance — and help give our team chance.
“I’m not going to sit down and quit if I feel like I can at least get out there. If I’m 60%, 70%, whatever, I think my 70% is better than a lot of guys’ 100%. I want to help the team.”
Injuries have been the story of Davis’ career and while many of his early issues were minor, the last couple of seasons have been more severe and he has garnered some criticism for being unable to stay on the floor. While he had been relatively healthy for the four prior seasons, including his first with the Lakers, the last two years have been rough.
Last year, Dabis suffered through heel and calf issues after the extremely quick turnaround between seasons that cost him 30 games and hampered him in the playoffs. This year, he has dealt with an MCL sprain as well as the awful turned ankle that caused a mid-foot sprain. This has led to some calling him soft, but Davis feels he is in a no-win situation with these issues:
“This is what I’ve learned about injuries: Last year when I wasn’t playing, people were saying ‘AD’s giving up on his team. It’s the playoffs. AD has to play. He’s got to play.’ And when I went out there to play, got hurt again, they said, ‘Who was his trainer? Who let him play?’
“So, what the [expletive] do you want me to do? When I play, it’s a problem. It’s a problem when I don’t play. At the end of the day, I’ve got to do what’s best for me and how my body feels. And we go from there. I’m not worried about who’s saying what or who thinks this about me because none of them have stepped on the floor and played. And the ones that did play, they should understand.
“These aren’t little ticky-tack injuries.”
The unfortunate part about Davis’ injuries this season was that they were pretty unpreventable. The MCL sprain came when a player fell backward into his knee and it bent the wrong way. The foot sprain speaks for itself as players come down on other players’ feet all the time in the NBA, and this is something that Davis realizes and refuses to allow it to keep him down:
“The real basketball guys know that there’s nothing I could’ve done in these situations,” Davis said. “What? Move out the way? I keep that attitude because, one, my wife makes me, and two, it’s knowing that these really weren’t my fault. How can I be down or upset or care what people are saying? It could’ve been anybody. I could wear shoes that come up to my knees.
“There’s not one player in the world who could step on somebody’s foot from the air and not roll your ankle. It doesn’t matter the shoe. You step on somebody’s foot, you’re going to roll your ankle.”
Unfortunately for Davis, he has been hit with the injury-prone label and thus each time he goes down it will be met with sighs and eye-rolls from many. But the big man will continue to fight through everything and try and deliver on the court as best he can for the betterment of his team.
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