Lakers star Davis cleared for full practice in injury rehab

Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up before the game against the Boston Celtics on April 15, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. Copyright 2021 NBAE Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP (Photo by ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN / NBAE / Getty Images / Getty Images via AFP)

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Los Angeles Lakers star forward Anthony Davis is moving closer to a return from a calf and Achilles tendon injury, with coach Frank Vogel saying he’d been cleared for “full on-court activity.”

Davis, an eight-time All-Star who along with LeBron James led the Lakers to the NBA title last season, was averaging 22.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 23 games this season before he was sidelined in February with a calf injury and aggravation of right Achilles tendon trouble.

“Good news,” Vogel said before the Lakers hosted the Boston Celtics on Thursday in their first game at Staples Center with fans in more than a year.

“He has been cleared for full on-court activity, full practice, anything we want to do with him to begin his real ramp-up and return to play,” Vogel said.

Vogel said it was “unlikely” but not out of the question that Davis would appear in one of the Lakers’ two upcoming games against the Utah Jazz — on Saturday and Monday — but the team will take a cautious approach when he does return.

“We’ll see the next few days, hopefully, where he’s at,” Vogel said. “Whenever it is that he returns it’s not going to be a full return to playing 30-some minutes a night.”

The Lakers have gone 17-5 without Davis on the court, and since March 20 they have also been without superstar James, who is recovering from a high ankle sprain.

The Lakers remain in fifth place in the Western Conference, seven games behind the league-leading Jazz.

© Agence France-Presse