Sources: AD expected back Monday vs. Pacers

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SAN ANTONIO — The Los Angeles Lakers expect star big man Anthony Davis to return Monday night against Indiana, sources told ESPN.

The eight-time All-Star sat out the 143-138 win Saturday night over the San Antonio Spurs because of a left calf contusion.

“He was kicked at some point in the second half [Friday] night and it’s a little irritated, a little bruising,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said before the game. “So just trying to stay ahead of it and be a little cautious and take our time with it. But he’s out.”

Thomas Bryant started in his place.

Davis had 25 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks in Los Angeles’ win over San Antonio on Friday, continuing a hot stretch in which he has averaged 33.4 points on 64.4% shooting, 17.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in his past five games.

“Just it being a back-to-back, the load he was carrying, specifically with [LeBron James] out, it’s just the smart and right thing to do,” Ham said of the decision to rest Davis. “We don’t want to push him this early in the season. And when you’re talking about different muscles and ligaments, it’s something that can easily turn into a year-long issue. So just to avoid that, we don’t want to put any additional strain on the area.

“The medical people decided it was the right thing to do and I totally agree.”

After missing more than half of the Lakers’ games the past two seasons because of various injuries, Davis stated during training camp that his goal for this season was to be able to play all 82 games.

Saturday was the Lakers’ 18th game of the season and it was the second one Davis has missed. He also sat out Oct. 28 against the Minnesota Timberwolves because of lower back tightness.

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