The Los Angeles Lakers met for practice at their facility in El Segundo for the first time in nearly two weeks. After flying back from New York on Sunday, the team decided to squeeze in a practice before Tuesday’s home game against the Indiana Pacers.
As the doors to the facility opened, a nearly unimaginable sight appeared: Steve Blake was shooting with his right hand. The cyborg brace he wore around for over a month was nowhere to be seen, and Blake appeared to be moving well.
However, the Lakers announced that Blake would not take part in Tuesday’s game against the Pacers.
The Lakers also shared some further good news: Jodie Meeks’ MRI had come back negative. The team had feared a stress fracture in Meeks’ foot, but the MRI had cleared Meeks to play on Tuesday. During the month of January, the 26-year-old shooting guard is averaging 18.8 points per game and has scored 11 or more points in every game. Keeping Meeks healthy should be a top priority these days.
As such, Meeks, who played a game-high 43 minutes on Sunday, sat out Monday’s practice. Also, Pau Gasol did not take part in Monday’s session, but both Meeks and Gasol were expected to play against the Indiana Pacers according to Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni.
Jordan Farmar, who has missed significant time with two separate hamstring tears, also appeared to be performing more stringent activities. The team announced that Farmar was cleared for further basketball-related activities, but he would not be able to take part in Tuesday’s game.
Steve Nash, who was expected back at practice on Monday, sat out Monday’s session after “tweaking” his back. The Canadian supposedly made progress in his time in Vancouver, but an unexpected back issue kept the 39-year-old out of Monday’s session. The team was hopeful Nash would take the practice floor on Thursday and play in Friday’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Lakers PR was clear that the new back issue was not related to the nerve root issue that has been bothering Nash for the better part of the last two seasons.
Xavier Henry also underwent an MRI on his knee, but the MRI showed no change. He is still thought to have a bone bruise in his knee and sit out for another 7-10 days before being reevaluated.
Kobe Bryant, who is recovering from a fracture in his knee, will see a doctor on Tuesday.
Ultimately, the Lakers appear to be on the path to recovery, and this season, positive injury news is always welcomed, even if it does not change the complexion of the team for Tuesday’s game against Indiana.