It turns out that Anthony Davis could have played all season through his shoulder problems. He's been doing that since he was a rookie.
But a lingering left knee issue was getting progressively worse for the Pelicans forward, and because that injury necessitated a premature end to his season, Davis said Monday, he'll go ahead with a shoulder surgery that was inevitable.
"The shoulder's actually pretty fine," Davis said Monday. "It has its ups and downs, but the knee's really where it's at. They told me eventually you have to have the (shoulder) surgery, so there's no point in waiting until it starts hurting real bad to get it when you could just rest both of them at the same time."
So that's what Davis will do.
Sometime in the next two weeks he'll fly to Los Angeles for further evaluation of his left knee. Davis was vague on the specifics of his condition – he and coach Alvin Gentry referred to tendinosis – and the treatment.
He'll know more about what the knee procedure will entail after meeting with a doctor in California.
The timetable on Davis' shoulder surgery has yet to be determined. He's been told he'll face a recovery of "four to five months," he said, from both injuries.
That will keep Davis, who missed Sunday's win against the Los Angeles Clippers, out for the final 13 games of this season and will cost him a chance to participate in this summer's Olympics in Brazil.
"That's tough. It's definitely tough," Davis said. "I'm 23 years old. Couple more Olympics, maybe. It's definitely a tough situation. I love USA Basketball. Loved when I was (in the Olympics) in 2012. Loved when I played the World Cup in 2014. It was definitely a tough decision. But I think everybody understands where health is more important."
The pain in his shoulder "comes and goes," Davis said, and though he knew he'd someday need surgery on it – and though he said it has gotten worse over the past three seasons – he could deal with it.
The issue with his left knee is another story. Davis left last Friday's game against Portland late in the second quarter and didn't return, and that would be his final appearance of the season. There was no specific play that caused the injury, Davis said.
"I couldn't explode. I didn't feel like myself," Davis said. "First play of the game, I airballed a layup. Couple plays where I could have dunked the ball, I couldn't really get up. It was just bothering me to the point where I couldn't really move and do the things I usually do on the basketball floor."
Ultimately, that led to the decision to shut down Davis for the season. Davis said he'll be back in time for the start of next season, and that he's looking forward to playing without lingering pain in his shoulder or knee.
"Of course you hear all these comeback stories like, 'He was hurt and came back and went to another level,'" Davis said. "That's what you think about. But it's going to feel good to (say), 'All right, this is not going to bother me, my knee's not going to bother me' and just go out and just play."