With the team’s aging star players currently rehabbing from injuries or surgery, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni is considering a move to limit Pau Gasol and Steve Nash‘s minutes on the floor in the early portion of the season, according to Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times.
Nash is still not at full strength in his left leg from the fracture he suffered in the third game of last season and he is also working his way back from a persistent hip and hamstring injury that bothered him in the latter portion of the year. Gasol on the other hand has recently started participating in non-basketball activities after undergoing surgery in May to treat the tendonitis in both of his knees.
“I think Pau and Nash will be 100% before the season starts,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll try to go slow with them during preseason and make sure they’re OK. We’ll see how the season goes but maybe work with them to keep their minutes down to where it’s manageable and keep them OK.”
These are expected precautionary steps taken by D’Antoni because both players are up in age with Gasol, 33, and Nash, 39, as it will take them longer to recover from their current health situations. There is no need to rush them back because it may increase the possibility of any setbacks occurring.
As for Kobe Bryant’s return, D’Antoni is also uncertain if the 15-time All-Star will be able to play in the regular season opener on Oct. 29 against the Los Angeles Clippers but would not be surprised if he was ultimately on the court in a Lakers’ uniform.
“I think Kobe’s still a question mark in the sense that nobody knows for sure,” D’Antoni said. “You have to look at his track record and what he’s done and how he’s battled through things and it’s like, ‘Oh, wow.’ But until the doctors can tell you, and that’s another month away that they’ll be able to give a timetable, we’ll see what happens.”
Bob Garcia IV
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