With that said, here’s an update on the guys carrying minor injuries:
Dwight Howard: back surgery in April
Howard’s play in his first preseason contest on Sunday against Sacramento speaks for itself: 19 points on 8 of 12 FG’s and 3 of 8 FT’s, 12 rebounds, four blocks and five turnovers in 33 minutes. He was explosive (see: three alley-oop dunks and the swats), fast (getting back in transition) and durable (popping up after a tough fall). Howard said he felt just fine after the game, and certainly appeared to be 100 percent. That’s the best “injury news” for which the Lakers could have hoped.
Jordan Hill: herniated disc
Hill has now participated in three consecutive full practices, saying after Saturday’s extended session that he “did everything” and feels “good.” Mike Brown confirmed on Monday that it shouldn’t be long before we see Hill return to game action, good news especially for L.A.’s second unit, which can use his energy and athleticism inside. His return will also give Brown a chance to look at his rotation as it will be in the regular season, with Hill playing backup power forward alongside either Pau Gasol or Dwight Howard, with Antawn Jamison most likely moving to the three.
Kobe Bryant: Strained/bruised right foot:
During the third quarter of Sunday’s game, Bryant was kicked in the right foot, causing a strain and bruising of the area. He didn’t practice on Monday and is listed as day-to-day. It’s not thought to be at all serious, however, which is conveyed by the “day-to-day” listing and the fact that Bryant returned to the court and finished the game. And, well, because nothing ever keeps Kobe off the court.
Steve Nash: ankle
Nash rolled his ankle when Isaiah Thomas came crashing in looking for a steal in the backcourt in the third quarter of Sunday’s game, but he returned to action after being taped in the locker room. Nash said that the ankle was a bit sore after the game, but felt good enough to practice on Monday. He’s fine.