Although Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni both touted them as “making progress,” it’s unclear when Steve Nash and Steve Blake will ever return to the court.
Both will miss tonight’s game against the Indiana Pacers. Beyond that – it’s anyone’s guess.
Nash, who has missed 12 games because of a small non-displaced fracture in his left fibula, didn’t have an MRI on Monday so he could go through a series of on-court drills for the next few days. The Lakers will then see how his body responds at some point before the Lakers (7-7) host the Denver Nuggets Friday at Staples Center.
“It’s subsiding a little bit,” D’Antoni said regarding Nash’s nerves in his left leg. “He can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know if that means three days, five days, or 10 days. But he’s more upbeat today than he was yesterday.”
Blake, who has missed the past seven games because of a lower abdominal strain, appeared at the team’s tail end of morning shootaround shooting free throws. But D’Antoni said he didn’t participate during the team session.
“It’s going to be a little while,” D’Antoni said regarding Blake. “He said he felt better today. But he still feels it a little bit. He can’t feel that when he starts to practice. If he doesn’t feel it in practice, then he’ll play.”
Does that mean Blake definitely won’t play against the Nuggets?
“I don’t think anything is out of the question, but it’s also not in the question,” D’Antoni said. “You just don’t know. If he wakes up one day without pain and practices, then he can play. But he can’t do that until there is no pain.”
Meanwhile, the Darius Morris will continue to start at point guard and Chris Duhon will play at the backup spot. Kobe Bryant has also shared ball handling responsibilities.
Even if the recovery timetable has appeared like a slow crawl, D’Antoni insists on remaining patient.
“They’re making progress. We’re not there yet,” he said. “It’s a few more days. Both of them are making progress. We’re happy with both of them. They’re getting a little bit more reassured that they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
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