“I did not feel it this morning, afternoon, foreplay, anything. I just felt like we were heading in the right direction on the treatment and rehabilitation side, ”Davis said.
That all changed in the second quarter in Denver, when Davis suffered from an Achilles strain who forced him to leave the game the rest of the evening and will require an MRI on Monday. He clearly tries to keep a positive attitude towards it, but admitted that the situation is not funny.
“This is another setback, but it’s part of the game,” Davis said. ”(It’s) more so frustrating that I’m not able to go out there and play, but you will not mess with this type of injury. So it is trying to figure out the best steps after receiving the information from MR tomorrow. ”
Davis says he has no long-term concern about the injury and that he does not regret his decision to continue playing on it himself after experiencing pain during the team’s previous match against Memphis Grizzlies, his first back in the lineup after missing the previous two with the same injury.
“I felt good coming back the first time against Memphis and I want to do the same, the same steps to get it right back,” Davis said. “I feel like I was ready to go, the training staff felt I was ready to go. I picked up the day before the Memphis game and it felt fine, woke up the next day and felt fine.
“I think we took the right steps to get back, and after the Memphis game, it felt good the next day. It felt good yesterday and until today it felt good. It felt good in the first quarter, it felt good from the time I was in the second quarter until the last game, ”Davis continued. “I think that was exactly how I moved and walked, which aggravated the injury, but I do not think I hurried back.”
Head coach Frank Vogel also did not want to guess the decision to let Davis play. He reiterated that they talked about it with the medical staff and that the Lakers would not have let Davis go up if they thought the injury was likely to get worse.
“If the medical team clears him to play, he plays,” Vogel said.
Still, Davis said he would be “wiser” about how he handles his return next time, even while he also (somewhat paradoxically) makes it clear that he will return soon and says he would consider getting treatment five times a day instead of the current three times “to try to get it back where it needs to be.” He said the training staff froze him after the match and put extra heel lifts in his shoes – which he has also worn in games – to reduce the pressure on his Achilles tendons. At night, he has slept in a sleeve that he says keeps the tendon bent so it does not “shorten”.
Davis does it all because he believes that star players should play when they can, and he wants to not only help his team on the field, but also to shake the “injured” mark that he has been tagged with in much of his career. .
“I’ve just overcome the last year and even my last few years in New Orleans, just by playing through injuries and knowing what my body can take, what it can handle, and if it’s anything less, I’m fine. go out there and play, ”said Davis. “I felt like I was nice enough to go out there and play … But this injury is a little different. Because it’s Achilles and you’ll definitely make sure it does not lead to anything worse, but I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to go out there to play.
“If I feel like going out there, I just want the simple fact that I want to be able to help my team. And I can help my team from the sidelines, but I think I’m more efficient when I’m on the floor. And they pay me to play. I go out there and try to compete at the highest level and do what I can to help this team, ”Davis continued. “If that means I go out there and play through some minor dents and bruises, then that’s what it is.”
Still, his co-star LeBron James says Davis should not push himself to come back at the expense of his long-term health or at risk of further injury. He says it’s up to the Lakers to play basketball at championship level, whether Davis is on the floor or not, and that while no player can replace his production, they can try to win games by committee while Davis tries to get it right.
“For me, all I care about is his health. I want him to be healthy. Our team needs him to be healthy, ”said James. “He has to make sure he takes all the precautions and takes care of what happens to his injury, and is right when he comes back. So not busy, no schedule. We have no idea from this aspect, but we just want him to be healthy and back at full strength. ”
And as much as Davis wants to play and stay optimistic, it seems that this scare may have been a bit of a wake-up call.
“This one is a little different, which I want to be wiser with and do not want to go out there and try to be Superman and risk it in the long run,” Davis said. “But all this is (dependent) on MRI tomorrow. I hope this is good information and I will be out there sooner rather than later. ”
The Lakers certainly hope so too. They would just be served well to make sure Davis is healthy when he does.
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