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Anthony Davis’ injury status for Lakers’ Game 6 vs. Suns

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The Los Angeles Lakers are “hopeful” that Anthony Davis will be back in the lineup for their elimination Game 6 vs. the Phoenix Suns on Thursday at Staples Center, but they won’t know for sure until the last minute.

“We’ll see,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said during his post-practice media availability on Wednesday afternoon. “We’re hopeful that he’s able to get back out there. But he’s still dealing with the injury. Making progress but we still don’t know. He’s going to continue to get round-the-clock treatment and hopefully give himself a chance to play. But he’s got to be cleared…that’s not going to happen until game time.”

Davis — who is dealing with a Grade-1 groin strain suffered in Game 4 on Sunday — did everything he could to be ready for Game 5 on Tuesday, including two pre-game shooting sessions to test out his mobility. In the end, he was a late scratch, and a deflated Lakers group suffered their most alarming loss of the season, a 115-85 drubbing at Phoenix Suns Arena.

AD also spoke to the media on Wednesday, and he re-iterated Vogel’s update.

“Getting better each day. Getting treatment, doing exercises, just stretching, and getting the groin straight,” Davis said about his recovery process. “As far as tomorrow, I obviously want to (play). Still waiting to be medically cleared with the groin.”

Davis said he’s doing 24/7 exercises, stretching, rehab with the hope that “everything is green for me to go out on the court tomorrow.”

Grade-1 groin strains typically take 7-10 days to heal, and Vogel assured the media on Tuesday that the Lakers’ medical staff will not clear AD if they think there is a risk of worsening the ailment.

The most notable tidbit from AD’s Zoom was his acknowledgment that the groin strain was a consequence of playing through a hyperextended left knee in Game 3. (Perhaps an error on the part of the Lakers’ training staff, though it seems highly unlikely that he would have played in a non-playoff game.)

“Yeah, they told me everything’s connected,” Davis revealed. “The groin happened because of the tightness in the knee from the hyperextension…Was feeling the knee the whole game, even the first couple plays, was feeling it and then just went up to try to lay the ball up, and as soon as I went up I felt it from my knee shoot up into my groin…But yeah, they told me it was from the knee that caused the groin injury.”

According to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes, AD could be seen giving a six-finger gesture towards a fan from the Los Angeles bench in Game 5, seemingly indicating confidence about Game 6.

“I held those six fingers cause there’s still a Game 6,” Davis clarified. “You don’t win with 3 games. We still got a game tomorrow.”

Following Game 5, LeBron James said that he’s mentally preparing as if his superstar running-mate won’t be available for Game 6.

To make matters worse, the Lakers other injured starter — and key defender against Devin Booker — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, was forced to exit Game 5 after re-aggravating the sore knee/quad contusion (it’s been labeled as both) that he suffered in Game 3 and kept him out of Sunday’s loss.

KCP will also be a game-time decision for Game 6, per Vogel.

This 2020-21 Lakers season has featured a nonstop stream of frustrating absences, and their first-round series has been par for the course.

“It’s tough,” Davis said about the latest untimely injury. “Especially last night, watching the game and not being able to help the team on the floor. It’s the toughest part, knowing that I can’t contribute. My body just wouldn’t allow me to.”

Facing elimination on Thursday, it’ll be all hands, ankles, knees, quads, and groins on deck.