While everyone is focusing on No. 24 returning to the Lakers practices this week — you should hear the radio promos in Los Angeles which just refer to Kobe Bryant as “him” and everyone just knows who is being discussed — the Lakers could be getting close to getting another one of their stars back.
Steve Nash is expected to return to the Lakers three practices this week, reports Dave McMenamin at ESPNLosAngeles.com. Los Angeles has Monday off, will practice the next three days before a Friday game in Sacramento, one where it is possible Nash could play (he is needed with Jordan Farmar likely to miss a little time with a hamstring injury).
Nash spent last week in Vancouver, British Columbia, working out with his longtime personal trainer, Rick Celebrini, while the Lakers were on a three-game trip through Washington, Brooklyn and Detroit.
“I think he made some improvements, but we’ll see,” D’Antoni said of Nash.
Nash has been bothered by a nerve root irritation that runs from his back to his hamstring, something he battled last season and has not been able to shake.
He has not looked right in his six games this season, averaging 6.7 points on 26.1 percent shooting. Steve Blake and Farmar have played well in his absence running the Mike D’Antoni system and that’s why the Lakers are at .500.
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While some Lakers fans have prayed Nash would call it quits (and free up more cap space) Nash is not the kind of guy who gives up in the face of adversity. He still plans to play this season and next.
We’ll see if the practices this week are a step in that direction.