January figures to be difficult for the Los Angeles Lakers, with 10 of their 15 games coming on the road, but there could be a surprise waiting for them at the end of the month in the form of a future Hall of Fame backcourt returning to the fold. Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said after shootaround in preparation for the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday that both Kobe Bryant (fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee) and Steve Nash (nerve root irritation in his back and hamstrings) will both be re-evaluated Jan. 28 when the Lakers return to L.A. after their upcoming 12-day, seven-game road trip. The veteran guards could play shortly thereafter if they are cleared. Nash has been out since Nov. 10, while Bryant has been sidelined since Dec. 17 after playing six games after recovering from an Achilles tear in his left leg that he suffered in April. D'Antoni recently joked that a bus will show up at the Lakers practice facility in February and drop off the five currently injured Lakers players, all healed at the same time and ready to contribute. But it turns out their returns will be somewhat staggered. D'Antoni said Xavier Henry (bone bruise in his right knee) will be the first of the group to be examined this Monday. "He could possibly play on this road trip or he could be out the rest of the season," D'Antoni told ESPNLA 710 radio on Friday. "So, it's like one of the other." Steve Blake (torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow) will be re-evaluated around the same time as Bryant and Nash, according to D'Antoni, but will need seven to 10 days after that if cleared to rehabilitate and strengthen his right elbow, which has been stabilized in a protective brace, before returning to game action.
Lakers eyeing Kobe Bryant's return
ESPN | Jan 11