Vujacic could return for L.A.’s next game

60157707The Lakers could get Sasha Vujacic back in their next game, whether it’s Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi’s against Utah or Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against Phoenix.

Phil Jackson relayed as much prior to Game 4 of L.A.’s series against the Jazz, and Vujacic confirmed his head coach’s words in the locker room.

The Slovenian said that his ankle remains tender, but he thinks it will be at least good enough to do something positive for the Lakers and for himself after an injury-riddled 2009-10.

“Sasha has had one injury after another, all season long,” said Jackson. “Starting in the summer time when he was working with the Slovenian team (through now).

“Every time he’s come back, he’s played well and he’s had an opportunity to help us, and then gotten injured again. We hope he has the same attitude when he comes back this time.”

It’s not offense, for which Vujacic initially earned his “Machine” moniker, but defense that Jackson and his staff are most looking forward to getting back into the rotation.

“We really look at his defense,” said Jackson. “Covering guys coming off picks with his quickness and ability to focus on guys.”

What remains to be seen is whether the players Vujacic will cover are named Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews of the Jazz or Leandro Barbosa and countryman Goran Dragic of the Suns.