Lakers forward Davis expects to return against Mavericks

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Los Angeles Lakers star forward Anthony Davis expects to make his NBA return on Thursday after a nine-week injury absence.

Davis told reporters in a virtual press conference that he felt "100%" after recovering from a right calf strain and tendinosis.

As long as he continued to feel fine after practice on Wednesday, Davis said, he was ready to return.

Davis, an eight-time All-Star who teamed with LeBron James to lead 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.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel, who had announced last week that Davis had been cleared for "full on-court activity," said Davis would return as a starter playing limited minutes.

Davis said it was a frightening moment when he was hurt.

"I never tore an Achilles, but I kind of felt like sharp pain, like it was ripping, which I had never felt before," he said. "So I knew it was something serious. It wasn't as serious as it could have been, but it was still a pretty significant injury."

The Lakers are 14-16 since Davis was sidelined, dropping from second to fifth in the Western Conference.

For part of that time, James has also been sidelined with a right ankle sprain.

Davis estimated Wednesday that James was probably "a couple of weeks" away from returning.