So … when will he play in a game?
“I think Christmas is probably the most realistic,” Nash said, revealing that his leg felt “good” in practice but suggesting he needs to see how it responds before drawing a conclusion.
The Lakers have only one game before Tuesday’s X-Mas contest with the New York Knicks, a Saturday tilt at Golden State, and Nash said it’s “possible” he’d return to that game. Yet he won’t really know until he sees how the leg feels tomorrow, and furthermore how it responds at shootaround on Saturday.
If all goes well, he could make the start against the Warriors, but it is more likely he’d wait until Tuesday’s contest. Regardless, his coach couldn’t have been happier to see him on the practice court.
“Whatever day he returns will be Christmas,” said Mike D’Antoni. “He looked good, real good. You never know how he wakes up. The first step was good and positive, he looks good on the floor, he said he felt good. We’ll wait till tomorrow to see if he can do it again and just build on it from there.”
Nash has cautioned that when he returns, his engine isn’t going to be revving at full speed, since he simply hasn’t had the chance to get into basketball game shape. But D’Antoni isn’t too worried about that, either.
“He’s got a pretty good motor,” said D’Antoni. “It will be maybe depend a lot on that, but he looked good out there – just as good as the rest of the guys. He wasn’t huffing and puffing that much.”
To reiterate, we’ll have to see how Nash feels after Friday’s practice. But for now, it’s certainly good news for the Lakers that he made it through a full-contact practice no worse for wear.