LeBron James has been on a one-man mission to power the Los Angeles Lakers into NBA playoff contention for much of this season so far, but he and his team have received a huge boost ahead of the second half of the campaign. Anthony Davis is stepping up his recovery from a foot injury that has ruled him out for the past month and the elite big man is set to be back on the floor before the All-Star break next month. Davis was in superb form before going down injured in December, and although the Lakers were able to with five straight without him, they lost the next three before edging out the Houston Rockets – the worst team in the league – on Monday night, with the over-reliance on stars James and Russell Westbrook taking its toll. But NBA insider Shams Charania reports that a big boost is on the way for James and company, with Davis stepping up his recovery and he is set to be back in action before the All-Star weekend gets underway in St Lake City on February 17. “Anthony Davis is expected to start running now, so once that happens and he is back running on the floor at full speed, at that point he is going to progress to contact work in the relative near future,” Charania told FanDuel TV.
“I’m told the hope is Anthony Davis is going to be able to get back out on the floor with a handful of games left before the All-Star break. That puts you at early February for a potential return for Anthony Davis to get back out on the floor. “He’s got a bone spur issue, he’s got a stress reaction in that foot and he’s one of the guys that should be in the All-Star Game this year, voted in. He’s already among the leaders with the fans so you have got to come back before the All-Star break if you want to play in the game itself. “We’ll see if he’s going to make it back, but right now the goal is for Anthony Davis to be back on the floor with a handful of games left and that put you right around trade deadline. We’ll see how that impacts which moves the Lakers could make.”
LeBron James will be pleased to see Anthony Davis back out on the floor soon
The Lakers’ reliance on James was on full display in Monday’s win over the Rockets at the Crypto.com Arena, with the four-time MVP scoring a season-high 48 points to overcome a poor defensive display against a team on an 11-game losing streak. His personal form has been excellent, but it has been a struggle carrying the burden of a thin roster. James ranks ninth for minutes per game in the NBA this season with 36, despite turning 38 years old last month. He has been nursing an ankle complaint in recent weeks and on Monday he admitted his workload has left him “extremely exhausted”. The imminent return of eight-time All-Star Davis, who was contributing plenty at both ends of the court before going down injured – averaging 27.4 points and 12.1 rebounds to lead the team back from a miserable 2-10 start to the season – will be a welcome boost for James and the whole organisation as they try to break into the Western Conference playoff picture.