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Anthony Davis starting 'ramp-up process' to return for Lakers after foot injury

Anthony Davis may not be sidelined for much longer.

The Los Angeles Lakers star plans to begin the "ramp-up process" to return to play later this week, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

While there isn't a specific timeframe for his return — the Lakers have said Davis is out indefinitely with his right foot injury — his foot is continuing to improve. He will begin pool workouts, running on an altered-gravity treadmill and start increasing his basketball workouts in the coming weeks.

Though the Lakers will be without Davis for the foreseeable future, Monday’s report is at least a sign of progress.

Davis hasn’t played since he injured his right foot against the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 16. His right leg connected with Nuggets star Nikola Jokic while in the paint, and he immediately started hopping in pain. He was diagnosed with a bone spur fracture and a stress reaction in his right foot.

Davis will miss his 13th straight game on Monday, when the Lakers take on the Nuggets in Denver. Davis averaged 27.4 points and a career-high 12.1 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 60% from the field before he went down.

Thomas Bryant has stepped in to try and fill Davis’ shoes in the meantime. Bryant, who signed a one-year deal with the Lakers this offseason, has averaged 17.1 points and 11.2 rebounds over the past 10 games. He had 29 points and 14 rebounds in the Lakers’ win over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

"I've already kind of had visions of what that could possibly look like with the frontcourt of myself, AD and Thomas on the floor together," Lakers star LeBron James said on Saturday, via ESPN. "I think it could be extremely beneficial for our ballclub … We're just trying to hold it down until our big guy comes back. And Thomas has definitely done his part, and we're all trying to chip in."

James out vs. Nuggets with ankle soreness

James will miss Monday’s game against the Nuggets due to left ankle soreness, the team announced on Monday afternoon.

The Lakers enter Monday’s game on a five-game win streak, the best they’ve had this season. James has played in four of those games, missing only last week’s win over the Miami Heat due to a non-COVID illness.

He put up a near-triple-double of 47 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in their win over the Atlanta Hawks, and then backed it up with a 43-point outing against the Charlotte Hornets days later.

James has averaged 29.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game this season.

The Lakers will return home on Tuesday after their two-game road trip. They’ll host the Dallas Mavericks next on Thursday. It’s unclear if James will be out longer than just one game.

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