Dec. 17 Injury Update: Steve Nash

It was expected to have Pau Gasol practice on Monday with his teammates, but seeing Steve Nash out there as well was a bit of a surprise.

The veteran point guard – who’s been out since Halloween – participated in a full practice, though the Lakers did not scrimmage or go through full-court contact drills. Nonetheless, being on the court left him feeling fairly optimistic, as he hopes to return from the non-displaced fracture in his left leg sooner than later.

“Hopefully I can play by Christmas,” said Nash. “We’ll see how it responds this week. Today we didn’t do any 5-on-5 or contact.”

While seeing how things go as the week goes on is an unknown, Nash said he’s definitely noticed progress of late.

“(My leg has) responded pretty well,” he explained. “I’ve been able to do some jogging, some running, some 1-on-1. Today was the first day actually getting up and down the floor a little bit even though we didn’t (scrimmage). It’s definitely sore, and definitely going to be a process not just to get back to complete health but also get in shape.”

Contact practice is the next step, but he’ll definitely be out of the team’s game against Charlotte on Tuesday and very likely miss Saturday’s game at Oakland.

The Christmas Day game, against New York, is eight days away, on Tuesday.