David Chao, MD: Extended Absence Coming For Lakers’ Anthony Davis

The Lakers’ Anthony Davis has been dealing with Achilles tendinitis. He has tried to play through, but now there is more bad news. 

Clearly he has re-aggravated the right Achilles tendon, but at least by video, there does not seem to be a complete tear. He did not return to for the second half versus the Nuggets.

The video impression was confirmed by a later report, but this still means an extended absence.

The length of time missed will depend on the severity. Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon and often involves microscopic tearing. This setback for Davis indicates his attempts to play through have failed, and I don’t see how he can continue for the time being.

The blood flow to the tendon is poor so healing takes longer, just like a paper cut often heals slower than when you cut yourself shaving. Also there is increased risk of complete Achilles rupture, which would mean surgery and missing an entire calendar year.

At this point, I would be surprised if he played again in February. A good result would be a full return in March, but this issue could easily extend to April and beyond. The extent of the damage on the MRI will give them a better idea of the recovery timeline, but the Lakers should plan on an extended absence.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.


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