LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel got some good news on Friday.
Vogel said Anthony Davis tested his sore Achilles tendon injury with some shooting on the floor during pre-game warms ups and is expected to play against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center.
The 27-year-old, Los Angeles big man missed both homes games against the Oklahoma City Thunder with the official designation of right Achilles tendonosis, and was listed as questionable for Friday’s contest against Memphis.
Davis said he felt soreness in the injured area walking, running and jumping as far back as two weeks ago. However, Davis did perform some non-contact drill work during practice on Thursday and remained hopeful he could get back on the court sooner rather than later.
Davis has missed five games this season for various nagging injuries -- including the last two due to the Achilles tendon issue. The Lakers are 4-1 without the power forward’s services so far this year.
Davis said he had an ultrasound performed on the injured tendon that showed nothing serious regarding the injury.
“They said there’s a lot of soreness,” Davis said. “Obviously, the Achilles is nothing to play about, so I wanted to make sure that I feel really good before I step back out on the floor.”
Vogel said the Lakers also are expected to get back guard Alex Caruso, who also missed the last two games due to a bruised right hand suffered against the Detroit Pistons.
“Obviously, they are two of our best players,” Vogel said about the return of Davis and Caruso. “Especially on the defensive end, Alex’s containment and Anthony’s doing it all for what he brings to our team. It will be great for our guys who have had two, overtimes games in a row and played some heavy minutes, great to get some fresh bodies back.”
With those two players returning, Vogel says he plans to use a 10-man rotation on Friday, with forward Markieff Morris the odd man out.
While at times he has not been on the floor, Davis has had an up-close view of the Lakers’ six-game winning streak, which includes three overtime victories against sub-.500 teams -- not the most awe-inspiring basketball the defending NBA champs have played this season.
“We fight back, but we also make it hard on ourselves,” Davis said. “We never feel like we’re going to lose a game, but I think sometimes when you come out slow -- especially with a team like the (Oklahoma City) Thunder who don’t have all of their guys and have a lot of younger guys who don’t get a lot of time -- they get to show what they can do.
“And then anytime you’re playing the Lakers, the defending champs, people are going to come out and make tough shots. Those guys played extremely hard. They put their head down and drove the basketball.
“When you play teams like that, it shows us what our weaknesses are, and what we have to get better at. So, it’s good when we play against teams that make a whole bunch of shots and do out-of-character things because it helps us get better and get locked in for what we need to do later down the line.”
Vogel put it more succinctly: “While we’re on a six-game win streak, the message to the team was, ‘Good enough, but not good enough, right?’ Like, we’re good enough to win these games, but by our standards we’re not playing good enough.”