Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar all participated in practice and went through 5-on-5 full court scrimmages on Thursday, but the three have been ruled out for Friday’s game vs. Charlotte.
It was a welcomed sight for the coaching staff to see those three out on the hardwood again.
“It lets us do a lot more things and obviously getting Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Steve Nash on the floor is going to help the quality of basketball,” coach Mike D’Antoni said.
Return dates for the trio, however, are up in the air and are varying to certain degrees.
“I just want to take it day by day and the fact I got through one practice is a positive,” Nash said. “This is the hardest thing I have ever faced in my career. Since the broken leg, nothing has been the same, nothing has been easy.”
While he was working/rehabbing with his trainer and physical therapist in Vancouver, Nash believes he progressed significantly in the last two weeks.
“I can get up and down first of all,” Nash explained. “I can withstand more demands – more contact, more unpredictable factors, change of direction – playing against somebody. That was something the nerve and spine couldn’t handle two weeks ago.”
Blake was non-committal about a possible return, but like both his backcourt teammates, is taking a day-by-day approach.
“I still have a little bit of issues to work through right now,” Blake said. “Shooting from long range is a little bit difficult right now. The ball feels heavy. There’s still pain when I shoot. Those are the things I need to work through. Everything else feels great.”
Farmar said he is trying to take a cautious approach to see how the hamstring responds. He suffered a tear in his left hamstring in a different area just four games after returning the first time. Now he says he can gradually work his way back as opposed to starting and playing 30-35 minutes upon coming back.
“Just take it day by day,” Farmar explained. “If I do something like this tomorrow, if there’s any tightness or soreness, really keep an eye on it and don’t overdo it. Maybe take a step back – ice, treatment, stuff like that. Just really paying attention to it day by day.”
Pau Gasol, meanwhile, did not practice and is still nursing a sore groin. He confirmed post practice that he is “probable” for Friday’s game. He did, however, acknowledge it feels much better today as opposed to after halftime during Tuesday’s contest vs. Indiana.
“It started happening on the road trip, but it was mild and manageable,” Gasol said. “The Indiana game was much, much worse and hard to bear, but I was able to finish the game off and play till the end.”
For the fifth straight game, the 7-foot Spaniard recorded a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double. In the month of January, he is averaging 20.6 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.6 blocks on 50.9 percent field goals.