Gasol Back to Practice, Vujacic Expecting Return

Lakers big man Pau Gasol was back on the practice floor with his teammates Friday afternoon after being sent home from Wednesday’s session with sinusitis.

“Feel good. Got a good practice in. Got a good workout in,” said Gasol.

Pau participated fully, including the final five-on-five scrimmage where he ran with the first team.

“He looked like he probably missed a day or two here and there, but he got better as the practice went on,” added Phil Jackson.

The extra days off have given some Lakers time to heal up and strengthen various ailments. Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum were held out of practice for the second consecutive time, but Jackson indicated that their participation would ramp up leading into Monday’s Game 1.

“They’ll be doing some stuff on the court tomorrow. Participating in a full out practice? Probably not. Shooting the ball and doing some things like that, we’ll get into that,” said Jackson.

Sasha Vujacic, who has been sidelined since the beginning of the playoffs with a severe left ankle sprain, practiced again today.

“He’s doing alright,” said Jackson. “He’s got some residual things that came out of his ankle injury. He had to leave the court today but he came back out and played.”

Vujacic himself expects to be ready for Monday and noted that the extra days off have helped strengthen older injuries.

“I’ll be active and I’m ready to go. That was my fourth practice or so. I’m really excited. I can’t wait.”

The opportunities for Sasha could be immediate according to Phil Jackson.

“I basically told him that theres an opportunity for him to play in this series if he gets himself back and healthy. He’s got an idea of what this series is like and how he’s got to play.”