Good chance of Steve Blake, Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar playing against Minnesota

The Lakers have a good chance of getting back three familiar faces on the court in guards Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Steve Nash when Los Angeles takes on Minnesota tomorrow.

“I think they are all ready to go, “said Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni after practice on Monday. “We’ll see how everybody wakes up, but there is a possibility that all three could play.”

Both Blake and Farmar said they felt good after practice, but would not give a definitive answer when asked if they would be playing tomorrow.

“We’ll see,” said Blake, whose right elbow was wrapped in ice when he addressed reporters. “I felt pretty good today in practice and I’ll see how I feel when I am when I wake up and go from there.”

“I’m not sure about tomorrow, we’ll see,” said Farmar. “I’m available if they allow me too, but I don’t know how they will work it out. Everyone is coming back at the same time so they are just trying to balance things out.”

All three guards returned to practice earlier in the week.

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Kendall Marshall says he’s not thinking about what will happen when others return

Kendall Marshall has done a good job at point guard since the Lakers signed him out of the D-League in December. He’s averaging 10.5 points and 9.3 assists in 17 games – 13 as the starter.

But with the news Monday that three other point guards – Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar – are close to returning from their respective injuries, one has to wonder what will happen to Marshall when they do.

Marshall on Monday insisted he is not thinking about it.

“Not at all, not at all,” he said after practice. “The only thing I’m focused on is the next game and trying to win that game. There are way too many variables in this league to try to
predict the future, so I just try to take it one day at a time.”

Marshall, out of North Carolina, is shooting 44.4 percent from the field overall, 47.9 percent (34 of 71) from 3-point range.

Marshall and the rest of the Lakers tonight play host to the Indiana Pacers, who at 34-9 have the league’s best record.

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Steve Blake to undergo abdominal surgery

The hits keep coming for the Lakers, who announced Monday that backup point guard Steve Blake will undergo abdominal surgery Wednesday and will be sidelined from between six to eight weeks. Blake hasn’t played since Nov. 12, and might not be back until early February.

“It’s a big concern for me,” Kobe Bryant said of the prospect of losing Blake for up to two months. “Steve and I have always played extremely well together. He’s a clutch shooter and a tough competitor. That’s one of the things I like about him, is his toughness.

“We’re going to miss him a lot. I’m not sure he’s going to be out, but it could be a while.”

Blake sat out his 10th game because of the injury on Sunday night, when the Lakers lost to the Orlando Magic and fell to 8-9 overall. He played seven games this season, averaging 5.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 26 minutes.

Meanwhile, starting point guard Steve Nash continued his slow recovery and rehabilitation from a fractured lower leg, performing a series of post-practice drills Monday. He can’t run yet and said Sunday he’s not expecting to play on the Lakers’ three-game trip, which begins Tuesday in Houston.

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he might consider starting veteran Chris Duhon at point guard in place of Darius Morris, a second-year player who played only 19 games in the NBA before this season. Duhon played almost 30 minutes Sunday against the Magic.

“A lot,” D’Antoni said when asked how much he was relying on Nash to help the team turn around its lackluster play, which includes a 3-4 mark since he was hired to replace Mike Brown. “I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t coached him before. He’s done pretty well when we’ve been together.”

Of making a switch at point guard while Nash continues his recovery, D’Antoni said, “There’s a chance. We’ll see. We’ll talk about it tomorrow. That’s nothing against Darius. He’s learning. He’s got to get better. But I could (start Duhon against the Rockets).”

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