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Report: Anthony Davis could return to Lakers next week

Michael Holley continues to be shocked by LeBron James’ consistent excellence at 38 years old, but is he still a truly elite player?

Behind an epic (and historic) run of play from LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers have kept their heads above water while Anthony Davis was out, going 8-9. They haven’t lost ground in the race to make the playoffs, but they are still five games below .500 and are going to need a spark.

A spark like the return of Anthony Davis, which Dave McMenamin said could happen next week.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN backed up this timeline.

I would use the phrase “cautious optimism” here. Davis has been out since before Christmas with this stress reaction in his foot. He has yet to have full practices and then respond without pain in his foot, and considering where the injury is — the navicular bone — everyone involved needs to be sure he is ready to return. This is not the kind of injury it is wise to just push through.

If the Lakers can get Davis back, a leap up the standings into the playoffs is certainly possible. How much of a threat these Lakers really are — even with a healthy Davis and LeBron — is up for debate, they are not contenders. Not even in a wide-open West. But if the Lakers are going to have any postseason dreams, they start with the return of Davis.

The sooner the better.