A certain significant player practiced with the Lakers, leaving coach Mike D’Antoni downplaying the significance both with perspective and humor.

“Steve Nash hasn’t practiced yet,” D’Antoni mused about his point guard who’s still sidelined for at least another week because of nerve pain in his back. D’Antoni then acknowledging everyone wanted to know about Kobe Bryant. He played five on zero and participated in shooting and strategy drills on Saturday, and showed healthy enough to follow that up during Sunday’s morning shootaround with some shooting drills.

“It wasn’t a practice per se,” D’Antoni said. “This was the first step.”

That’s good enough for Bryant to play tonight against the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center, right?

“He’ll play in the second half,” D’Antoni joked.

OK, well what about when the Lakers play Friday against the Golden State Warriors?

“I don’t think so,” D’Antoni said. “But I would say that’s very premature. There’s going to be a bunch of (games) before he’s back.”

The Lakers will have off on Monday, leaving all their players including Bryant to rest and recuperate. Will Bryant follow that up by participating Tuesday in a full contact practice?

“I don’t know,” D’Antoni said. “Those will be full blown practices, probably certain areas of it. But it’s too early to tell.”

It’s too early to tell a lot of things. How many practices Bryant needs before his return. How his Achilles tendon will feel following each moment of progress. When Bryant will actually play in the game. The Lakers haven’t offered any timetable, and D’Antoni refused making proclamations.

After all, D’Antoni sounded skeptical Bryant would return before Thanksgiving because he had no idea when he would begin practicing. A day later, Lakers trainer Gary Vitti informed D’Antoni that Bryant could start doing that.