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A few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Lakers were trying to solve the problem of having too many point guards on the roster. Now, they could be running low.
Steve Blake, who has started every game in Steve Nash's absence, could miss time with a lower abdominal strain. Blake aggravated the injury early during the Lakers' 103-90 win over the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center, and played just over two minutes in the third quarter before pain forced him to the bench.
Nash has already missed five games and is out at least another week after suffering a non-displaced fracture in the head of his left fibula Oct. 31 against the Portland Trail Blazers. Nash said there was no timetable for his return to the court but when he was reminded that the Lakers played his former team, the Suns, on Friday, he said he would like to be able to play that game if he were medically cleared.
The Lakers said Blake will miss Monday's practice in El Segundo, Calif., then undergo an ultrasound Tuesday, after which he will be re-evaluated.
The Lakers host the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.
"It's something I've been dealing with for the last couple games. I've been trying to push through it, but tonight it was hurting pretty bad," Blake said. "I think I can try to play through anything, but I don't know if it would be good for me to try and play through it because it will probably never heal. It's one of those things where we have to make a decision."
Blake is averaging 5.7 points and 3.3 assists on the season.
Given the Lakers aren't entirely sure who will coach them on Tuesday -- interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff could still be on the sidelines while the Lakers continue their coaching search -- determining who will start should Blake miss time isn't an exact science. Still, second-year point guard Darius Morris has served as Blake's backup and would appear to have the inside track.
In five games this season, Morris has averaged 6.5 points and 2 assists, shooting 39.1 percent.
With Blake largely unavailable in the second half, Chris Duhon -- acquired in the Dwight Howard trade on Aug. 10, played a season-high 12 minutes Sunday and would be in line for increased minutes should Blake's injury keep him on the sidelines.Brian Kamenetzky covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.