Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Updated: November 14, 10:17 AM ET
Steve Nash out another week or two
By Dave McMenamin
LOS ANGELES -- Mike D'Antoni and Steve Nash will be reunited when D'Antoni flies into Los Angeles on Wednesday, but they'll have to wait a bit before D'Antoni coaches his former point guard in a game again.
Nash is scheduled to have the fractured fibula in his left leg re-evaluated by Lakers doctors Saturday, but he told reporters Tuesday that he would continue to be sidelined "another week or two at the most."
Nash has missed the Lakers' past six games after suffering the injury in the second game of the season, but he already has returned to the practice court to do individual dribbling, shooting and agility exercises.
"There's progress," Nash said before the Lakers' 84-82 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. "We made progress. Sometimes you got to rely on Mother Nature, too. I mean, it is a fracture. So got to wait for that to heal a little bit more before I can do a lot."
Steve Blake, who assumed Nash's spot in the starting lineup in the first five games the former two-time MVP was out, did not play Tuesday against the Spurs because of a minor abdominal strain.
Blake is listed as day to day. He said he initially suffered the abdominal strain Nov. 4 in a game against the Detroit Pistons before aggravating it over the weekend against the Sacramento Kings. Blake took a ride in Kobe Bryant's helicopter down to Orange County on Monday to undergo an ultrasound by Dr. Steven Yoon. The exam revealed the strain.
Second-year guard Darius Morris made the first start of his career against the Spurs with Nash and Blake out, putting up one point, two rebounds and one assist while shooting 0-for-5 in 20 minutes. Chris Duhon assumed backup point guard duties, and finished with five points and three assists in 20 minutes.
D'Antoni is on the injured list himself after recently undergoing knee replacement surgery. The Lakers have the day off Wednesday, so D'Antoni will officially join the team Thursday, and is expected to observe practice run by interim head coach Bernie Bickerstaff and the rest of the coaching staff.
D'Antoni has not yet determined whether he will coach Friday when the Lakers play one of his former teams, the Phoenix Suns. He is expected to decide sometime after Thursday's practice. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, who has been through a knee replacement of his own, said the team will be patient with D'Antoni and does not want the coach to rush back because of the "adrenaline" of the new opportunity.