Injury Update: The Steves

Lakers point guards Steve Blake (seven) and Steve Nash (12) have now missed a combined 19 games, a trend that will continue at least through Tuesday’s contest against Indiana.

The last official team update on Nash came on Nov. 16, stating that he’d be out one more week, to be re-evaluated by Dr. Steve Lombardo. The team had discussed sending Nash for an MRI on Monday, but ultimately decided against it. Alternatively, Nash will increase his activity level slightly to include agility drills and jogging – he’d previously been doing cardio on an elliptical machine.

Head athletic trainer Gary Vitti and his staff will monitor Nash’s work outs, and continue to evaluate him on a daily basis as they determine when he’s ready to return to practice, and eventually games.

Blake, meanwhile, has improved from the abdominal strain he aggravated against Sacramento on Nov. 11, but not to the point that he’s ready to resume practicing. He’s listed as day-to-day, and will be continually evaluated.

The Lakers have made it clear that they want both point guards for the long haul. Coach Mike D’Antoni suggested after Monday’s practice that he’d far prefer having both guys able to go through the rest of the games upon returning, as opposed to coming back too quickly and re-injuring themselves.

In the meantime, Darius Morris and Chris Duhon have both been effective: Morris utilizing his athleticism on defense and in transition; and Duhon knocking down 50 percent of his field goals, 46.7 percent of his threes and initiating the offense he learned under D’Antoni in New York.

Furthermore, Kobe Bryant has taken on additional ballhandling duties, particularly in screen/roll sets, which has been very effective for L.A.’s offense. He’s eager to get back to his role of primary scorer once Nash and Blake return, but said he’s quite comfortable filling in where needed in the meantime.