Lakers Injury Update: Anthony Davis Expected To Miss Road Trip Against Mavericks, Thunder

After earning their 30th win of the 2019-20 NBA season against the New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers look like they are well on their way to making a deep playoff run.

The Lakers are clearly gelling on the court as LeBron James has done an excellent job of orchestrating the offense and putting his teammates in optimal positions to score the basketball while the team’s collective defensive effort has been nothing short of impressive.

While James continues to show no signs of slowing down in his 17th NBA season, Anthony Davis has proven to be the perfect All-Star player to pair with him as the 26-year-old is devastating on both ends of court, particularly the defensive end where he is considered to be the early favorite for the 2020 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.

Davis’ health is of the utmost importance for the Lakers, so it was incredibly concerning to see him forced out of the game against the Knicks after hurting his back in the third quarter. He was able to gingerly walk off the court on his own, but he did not return to the contest.

It appears he and Los Angeles avoided disaster as his X-rays returned negative, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

X-rays on Anthony Davis’ lower back came back negative, according to his agent Rich Paul. Davis, is sore though, per Paul.

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 8, 2020

Davis was reportedly able to walk in the tunnel afterward, but is already expected to miss the team’s upcoming road trip:

Anthony Davis was able to walk in the player tunnel at Staples Center as the initial shock of the fall wore off, a source tells ESPN. The plan is for Davis to undergo an MRI on Wednesday. He is expected to miss the upcoming road trip in DAL & OKC to stay back and rehab.

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 8, 2020

Davis went up to contest a shot in the paint and ended up landing hard on his back, staying on the floor for several moments before being helped up by the training staff. A gurney was seen in the tunnel, but McMenamin’s report seems to indicate that he had no need for it.

Obviously, having the X-rays return negative is a good first sign, but it is concerning that Davis is banged up not even halfway through the season. He has already had to deal with thumb, shoulder, and ankle injuries and while he was able to play through them, the smart thing to do would be to let him take as much time as he needs to rehab his back.

Fortunately for the purple and gold, they have a 4.5 game lead over the Denver Nuggets atop the Western Conference standings, meaning they can afford to have Davis miss a few games. His absence probably forces James to play more minutes, but he should be able to keep the team afloat in interim.