Anthony Davis spoke to reporters for the first time since injuring his foot on Feb. 16. Below is a transcription of his comments.
On how he’s feeling and his progression:
AD: “I feel good. The swelling has definitely decreased, the function of my foot has increased. That was the main thing, trying to get that swelling down on the strain of the muscle. You guys could see when I first did it, it was bad. But we’re moving in the right direction, every day. I was able to get out of the boot, put a shoe on, and then got cleared today to do some shooting [on Monday].”
On what spot shooting will entail and what he has been able to do cardio wise over the last few weeks:
AD: “As far as the shooting, I’m not too sure if I’ll be able to do some movement. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to jump a little bit. The doctor has to talk with trainers to see exactly what I can do. In terms of cardio, there wasn’t too much I could do but I have been doing little interval circuits with high intensity weight training. So, like grabbing some dumbbells and we were going super-fast to get the cardio going. I was doing some battle ropes. But getting cleared to shoot, I don’t know if I’ll be cleared to jog a little bit now where I can get on the treadmill. I’ve been wearing a heart rate monitor to get my heart rate up. I’ve never really gotten out of shape. Even with my knee, I still feel I came back just fine.”
On his level of optimism to be able to return to games soon:
AD: “I’m very optimistic about it. Especially with the situation that we’re in with the Play-In and actually the fight to stay within the Play-In game. I’m trying to get back on course as soon as possible. As far as a number, I would love to say 100 [percent] but with only a certain number of games left, I’m not too sure.”
On how he can regain the confidence he was playing with when he returned from his earlier knee injury:
AD: “I miss being out on the floor. So, when I got the chance to get back out there, it was like ‘aw I missed you,’ and I was able to play at the elite level. It’s kind of the same now, especially because of how different our position is. We’re fighting to stay in the Play-In game and fighting to get into the playoffs. I’m trying to rush back but do it the right way, so I don’t reinjure the foot. Obviously, timing is of the essence. Just have to take it day-by-day and be smart about it.”
On if he’s better at focusing on his rehab because of past injuries despite external voices telling him something differently:
AD: “Unfortunately, I’ve been in this situation several times and this year it was twice where it has been out of my control to a certain extent [i.e. player falling into his knee and landing on another player’s foot]. I’ve learned over the years that when I’m rehabbing I kind of just put myself into this bubble and lock in to try and get back as soon as possible. And I’ve also been better at rehabbing the rest of my body. I’ve learned to do that over the years, and it’s helped me in my returns.
On the possible rematch with this same Phoenix Suns team, should the Lakers make it into the playoffs:
AD: “Obviously we owe [Phoenix]. The got us last year so, anytime a team knocks you out, out of the playoffs especially, you always look forward to those games and if we have a chance of a possible playoff series with [Phoenix], we know it’ll be a lot more electric than it was last year. From the standpoint of, we feel like we owe them and they feel like they have our number. That would be fun and hopefully we’ll be able to get that matchup, or whatever the matchup is.”
On if he feels the outcome of the series could have changed if he was fully healthy:
AD: “Of course. I think they know that. Me going down kind of changed the whole series and they had that confidence. My groin was killing me in Game 6, and I just feel they got away with one.
On how he is considering his health with how many injuries he’s gone through over the course of the last two seasons:
AD: “Both of the injuries could have been a lot worse. So, even though it’s a negative thing, I look at the positives and having positivity. Whereas if I didn’t train the way I train, there’s no telling what these injuries could have been. These are two injuries I couldn’t really control but continue to do what I’ve been doing to maintain the strength, the muscles, and the tendons in my body to stay strong. To be able to kind of withstand these injuries where they aren’t as bad [could’ve had a broken foot, torn ACL]. The doctors always tell me it could have been a lot worse so, I’m just taking the positivity out of that and continue to do what I’ve been doing as reconstructing my body to avoid anything larger or more detrimental.”
On how the last few weeks have been being on the sideline and his involvement with the team:
AD: “LeBron is a hell of a player. We’re up and down. It’s been that way all year especially on the defensive end. Offensively I’m not too concerned but the last two seasons we’ve been one of the top teams defensively. And this year, I don’t even know where we are, to be honest. That’s not like us. So that’s the biggest thing with us, I get so frustrated when we miss assignments or things like that because we know what we’re supposed to do on the defensive end. I’m that defensive anchor for our guys and when I’m not out there we have a lot of miscommunications and mishaps. That’s the biggest thing I’ve seen from our group. Not being as validated as we should be defensively. But then it’s the sense of urgency from me to try and get back out there because I know I can help these guys, especially on the defensive end. I can only say so much from the sideline when these guys are playing. Trying to be involved as much as I can [defensively] knowing we have coaches and other guys who can handle the offensive end.”
On if this second injury was more upsetting than the first:
AD: “When it first happened, I heard the crunching and everything in my foot. And when I first looked up, I think it was Royce O’Neale or Donovan Mitchell turn around and was like ‘Oh [expletive].’ And when I looked down, I couldn’t move my foot. The first thing I thought was, ‘please don’t be broken.’ I couldn’t move it whatsoever, I tried to walk on it. I just couldn’t do it. I took the tape off and it was huge. Like the size of a softball right in the midfoot. They ran the MRI and determined it would about four to six weeks. I’ve never watched [the play] again. So, it was more of anger, like I just got out of a four to six, now I’m on another four to six, so that’s where the anger came from. It was a little bit of relief that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been but more so anger of here we go again.”
On LeBron’s performances and how much time is left to contend together:
AD: “Very short window. We don’t know how long he has left in this league. Phenomenal player. Future hall of famer. Being able to play alongside him, you want to take advantage of that. We did the first year. Last year we were both banged up and this year kind of the same but more so me. Now that window, every day, is closing. That’s another frustrating part. A lot of guys don’t get to play with talent like that. I had the opportunity to do so and I want to take advantage of that time. I think he has another year left and then who knows. I don’t know what he's going to do but we have this year and next year to take advantage of that and get another ring out of it.”