Healthy bodies have been quite difficult to find on the court for the Lakers this season, and that trend continued at Wednesday’s session in Miami in which Mike D’Antoni didn’t have enough guys available to play 5-on-5.
Available (nine): Kendall Marshall, Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson, Ryan Kelly, Nick Young, Manny Harris, Jordan Hill, Robert Sacre, Chris Kaman
Unavailable (six): Pau Gasol (foot), Xavier Henry (knee), Jordan Farmar (hamstring), Steve Blake (elbow), Kobe Bryant (knee fracture), Steve Nash (nerve root irritation)
Gasol is the one player off the latter list who will play against the Heat on Thursday evening, as an open wound on his left foot won’t keep him out of game action, despite making it a bit painful to run, jump and cut.
Here’s the update on the Lakers who remain on the shelf:
Henry did some running, lateral slide drills and shooting, but did not participate in practice with his teammates on Wednesday. He said he’s progressed from where he was last week with a knee strain suffered on Dec. 29, which has caused him to miss 11 games thus far. Henry has been ruled out of Thursday’s game in Miami and Friday’s in Orlando. He’ll be evaluated over the weekend.
Bryant is expected to be evaluated when the team returns to Los Angeles on either Monday, Jan. 27., or Tuesday the 28th. Bryant said that he expected to get an MRI in “February,” but that could apparently come a few days prior to the change of month. Kobe’s been keeping in cardio shape by doing work on a stationary bike, but needs the knee fracture to fully heal before he can resume basketball activities. That said, Bryant has made it clear in respective media sessions in Boston and Chicago that he fully plans on returning as soon as he’s physically able.
Nash has been with his personal physical therapist/trainer working out in Vancouver, trying to improve daily so that he can test out the back, hamstring and nerve root issues that have plagued him this season. He’ll be re-evaluated by the Lakers when the team returns from the road trip just as Bryant is.
Originally diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow that would take a minimum of six weeks, Blake will visit with his doctor in Los Angeles when the team returns, and a potential return date may be established at the time. One can speculate that it’s going to be a bit longer, as the key word in the original timetable was “minimum.”
Farmar tore his left hamstring in a different spot from an original tear in early December on Dec. 31, and was given a four-week timetable until re-evaluation, which could come at the beginning of February. Don’t be surprised if it’s a couple of weeks after that until Farmar hits the game floor.