The Lakers almost looked whole again Monday. Pau Gasol and Steve Nash practiced with their teammates, with Gasol saying he might play in tonight's game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Staples Center and Nash saying he might be ready to return to the active roster for the Christmas Day game against the New York Knicks. Meanwhile, Steve Blake shot a few baskets and worked out on an exercise machine, but he's still weeks if not months away from a return after undergoing abdominal surgery. Gasol said the nagging tendinitis in his knees, which forced him to sit out for two weeks, wasn't as painful Monday as it was earlier this month. As if to illustrate the point, he ran a series of post-practice sprints before shooting a number of free throws. "I'm happy with the practice and how I felt," he said. "We don't want to make the decision (whether to play tonight) quite yet. So, we'll see in the morning how I feel. It (the layoff) helped - not just the rest, but the work we did to strengthen the knees. "I can move around much better." Nash ran without pain in his fractured lower left leg during what could be described only as a light practice devoid of any contact. The Lakers went through a number of drills but didn't scrimmage as they prepared to face the Bobcats. "We did film for 15 minutes, then we came out and we walked through two things we needed to do, then we stretched and then we did a defensive drill for about 20 minutes, then we played 5-on-zero and then we played (something or other) that you guys don't even know what that is, then we shot foul shots and we shot some things and now we'll go home," coach Mike D'Antoni said. Nash said he was uncertain as to when he might be sound enough to play for the first time since he was injured during an Oct. 31 collision with Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard in the Lakers' second game of the season.
Pau Gasol may return soon, Steve Nash still a question mark
L.A. Daily News | Dec 18