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Pau Gasol #16 (L) and Steve Nash #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers returned to practice this week, and the Lakers are now on the verge of being at full strength.
Steve Nash took part in a full practice on Thursday, including a 5-on-5 full-court scrimmage. He was still playing when the media entered the facility, and he looked pretty comfortable getting up and down the floor.
When asked when he might be back to play for the Lakers, Nash said that Saturday against the Golden State Warriors was possible but ultimately concluded, “Christmas is probably the most realistic.”
The 38-year-old point guard has not taken part in a Lakers game since Halloween. After spending over a month and a half on the sidelines, Nash was cautious about his return. He tried to control expectations by stating that he would have to see how his leg reacted to practice and asses his recovery time before committing to a comeback.
Although Lakers head-coach Mike D’Antoni was willing to share his excitement at seeing Nash play, the coach matched the player’s caution by repeating that the team would wait and see how the leg responded to practice.
Regarding Nash’s return, D’Antoni said, “I hope it’s a turning point because we’re not very good right now.”
The coach also expanded on Metta World Peace’s acceptance of his new role off the bench. D'Antoni shared that World Peace just wants to win and said that World Peace was “the greatest” when they discussed the shift. D’Antoni, however, did say that he may opt to start World Peace based on matchups like Kevin Durant with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Although the coach did not explicitly say so, seeing World Peace start on Christmas Day against Carmelo Anthony may fall into that same category. Ultimately, Nash is questionable this weekend against the Golden State Warriors, but Christmas Day is starting to look like a strong probability, rather than merely a possibility.
For Lakers fans, Mike D’Antoni summed up the excitement by saying that whatever day Nash returns “will be Christmas.”