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Steve Nash and Pau Gasol return to practice

By Royce Young | NBA writer
Steve Nash could be closer to returning. (Getty Images)

Reinforcements could be coming soon for the Lakers.

Missing both Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, the Lakers have struggled mightily in finding their footing but could be getting both players back in the near future. Both Gasol and Nash practiced Monday according to Lakers.com, with Gasol aiming for a return sooner rather than later.

Gasol, who has been dealing with tendinitis in both knees, will be listed as a game-time decision to play against the Bobcats on Tuesday. Nash is out and said he's hoping to play by Christmas.

Gasol said over the weekend that he expects to be back by the weekend and said he was "questionable" to return Tuesday.

Neither Nash nor Gasol scrimmaged Monday but just took part in some on court drills.

Exactly two weeks ago, Nash said he hoped to be back in 10 days to two weeks. Then eight days after that, he said he was hoping to be back in another two weeks. But practicing is a major positive step forward.

Nash, 38, has missed 15 games because of a fracture in his left fibula that he suffered in the second game of the season by banging knees with Portland's Damian Lillard. This is the longest stretch of games that Nash has missed since 1999.

Nash's original timetable was 7-10 days, but it's coming up on almost two months.

The Lakers are also without backup point guard Steve Blake for at least another week as he recovers from a strained abdomen.

Currently the Lakers are 11-14 after winning back-to-back games against the Wizards and 76ers.

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