Baron’s time off: More than just a rest?

So it turns out those days off the Warriors have given Baron Davis since Thursday’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks weren’t necessarily just in response to the heavy number of minutes he’s been logging.

Coach Don Nelson said Monday that Davis had swelling in his left knee after taking a hard fall in the second quarter against the Mavs. It was the play in which Davis tried to block a layup by Josh Howard (he got called for goaltending) and landed parallel to the ground, leaving a visible welt around the outside of Davis’ right eye.

“”If it hadn’t have been for these five days off, I don’t think he could have played probably until maybe (Tuesday) anyway,” Nelson said of Davis.

The swelling didn’t come to light until Nelson mentioned it at Monday’s practice. The team took Friday off, and Davis was absent with the team’s permission from Saturday’s practice. Sunday and Monday, he worked out on the stationary bike and didn’t do much else (at least during the time the media was allowed into practice).

Reporters were told by team officials on Sunday and Monday (before Nelson spoke to the media, that is) that Davis’ time off was prompted by his heavy workload.

After Nelson’s media session Monday, athletic trainer Tom Abdenour told a team spokesman that Davis suffered a contusion on his knee and that the swelling was “nothing out of the ordinary” for such a situation.

Davis also downplayed the injury, although he didn’t directly answer the question of whether he could have played on Monday.

“We don’t play tonight,” Davis said. “We play Wednesday. So I’m planning to play.”

A team spokesman theorized that the injury might have been considered by Abdenour to be so minor that it wasn’t worth discussing; Davis certainly expects to play on Wednesday against Detroit, and Nelson hopes to get a full practice from him on Tuesday.

That being said, any time your biggest star misses three practices with swelling in a knee that underwent an arthroscopic procedure nine months ago, that’s not that best of signs.

— Geoff Lepper

Marcus Thompson