NBA concussion protocol explained: Anthony Davis' head injury casts doubt on Lakers vs. Warriors Game 6
NBA concussion protocol explained: Anthony Davis' head injury casts doubt on Lakers vs. Warriors Game 6
Anthony Davis' head injury casts doubt on his availability for Game 6

Anthony Davis left Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals with a head injury.

Davis suffered the injury when Kevon Looney's elbow made contact with his face inadvertently. While the reason for Davis leaving the game wasn't identified by the Lakers, the concern was that he suffered a concussion.

Here's the latest on Davis' injury and how the NBA handles concussions.

Anthony Davis injury update

Davis was suspected to have suffered a concussion after he was inadvertently struck in the head by Warriors' center Kevon Looney in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' 121-106 Game 5 loss.

Anthony Davis did not return to Game 5 after getting hit in the head by Kevon Looney.

— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 11, 2023

Davis was badly shaken by the incident, making his way to the bench in pain before heading to the locker room in a wheelchair. Davis would not return to the game. 

Lakers center Anthony Davis went to locker room in wheelchair after being elbowed in the face. Lakers GM Rob Pelinka and Davis’ agent Rich Paul are huddled by the visiting locker room.

— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) May 11, 2023

Turner Sports' Chris Haynes reported that Davis was being evaluated at Chase Center, with the possibility of a concussion looming as a potential diagnosis. 

MORE: Live updates, stats from Warriors Game 5 win over Lakers

NBA concussion protocol 

If Davis suffered a concussion, he would be subject to the NBA's Concussion Policy. 

The NBA Concussion Policy outlines the steps required for a player to return to participation. Within these steps is an exertion process of physical activity, which a player cannot begin until 24 hours after sustaining the concussion. 

The worry for Davis and the Lakers was the fact that Game 6 is scheduled for Friday, May 12 at 10 p.m. ET, just 48 hours after Davis sustained his head knock.

MORE: Darvin Ham takes apparent dig at Steve Kerr during Game 5

The good news at this stage for Lakers fans is that Davis appears to have escaped Game 5 without a concussion. The expectation is that he will be available for Game 6 "barring a setback," per Haynes.

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis (head injury) is expected to be available for Game 6 on Friday barring a setback, league sources tell @NBAonTNT, @BleacherReport.

— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 11, 2023

If Davis is diagnosed with a concussion, he would be required to complete the NBA return-to-participation exertion process: 

  • Several steps of increasing exertion — from a stationary bike to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills.
  • With each step, a focused neurological examination is performed. A player must be symptom-free to move to the next step. If a player is not symptom-free after a step, he stops until he is symptom-free and begins again at the last step he passed without any symptoms. 

There is no timeframe to complete the above process.

MORE: LeBron James hobbled after ankle tweak in Game 5

When is Lakers vs. Warriors Game 6?

  • Date: Friday, May 12
  • Time: 10 p.m. ET | 7 p.m. PT
  • TV channel: ESPN
  • Live streaming: Sling TV

Game 6 of Lakers vs. Warriors will be played on Friday, May 12. The game will be held at Arena in Los Angeles.

Lakers vs. Warriors will tip off around 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local time). Tip-off of Lakers vs. Warriors will begin after the conclusion of Game 6 between the Knicks and Heat, which is set to tip off around 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday night.

Game 6 of Lakers vs. Warriors will air on ESPN. Viewers in the United States can also stream the game on Sling TV.

Fans in the U.S. can watch the NBA Playoffs on Sling TV, which is now offering HALF OFF your first month! Stream Sling Orange for $20 in your first month to catch all the games on TNT, ESPN & ABC. For games on NBA TV, subscribe to Sling Orange & Sports Extra for $27.50 in your first month. Local regional blackout restrictions apply.

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Lakers vs. Warriors schedule

Date Game/Result Time (ET) TV channel
May 2 Lakers 117, Warriors 112 10 p.m. TNT
May 4 Warriors 127, Lakers 100 9 p.m. ESPN
May 6 Lakers 127, Warriors 97 8:30 p.m. ABC
May 8 Lakers 104, Warriors 101 10 p.m. TNT
May 10 Warriors 121, Lakers 106 10 p.m. TNT
May 12 Game 6 TBD ESPN
May 14 Game 7* TBD ABC

*If necessary

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