The Los Angeles Lakers will once again field an undermanned team for Friday’s game against the Golden State Warriors, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
It has been all-too-familiar position for the Lakers as injuries have plagued the team throughout the year and will continue for Friday’s contest as both Steve Nash (hamstring) and Chris Kaman (right calf strain) will likely be out of the lineup.
Nash, who move in third place on the NBA’s all-time assists list in Tuesday’s 145-130 loss to the Houston Rockets, stated that he suffered the setback early on in the game and would likely know where his body would be at phsyically in the following couple of days.
“I hurt it early when I tried to pick up to a sprint,” Nash said who had three points and five assists in 13 minutes played in the first half. “It just caught me and I felt that right in the hamstring and the pain just began. I just wanted to hang on and get this over with.”
At Thursday’s practice, head coach Mike D’Antoni stated that Nash’s healthy had improved, but he still may sit out of the final four games of the season.
“Steve said he feels a lot better,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said after practice Thursday. “I would say doubtful for tomorrow, but maybe for the rest of the year.”
Kaman has missed the last four games due to a right calf strain that he suffered after landing awkward in the first half of the Lakers 124-112 loss on April 1 against the Portland Trail Blazers. It has been a rough season for the 31-year-old, who has played in just 39 games due to a multitude of reasons but the injury he is dealing with is one that has never experienced before in his 10-year career.
“I’ve never really had an injury like this,” Kaman said. “I’ve rolled my ankle and messed my back up, but the calf strain is kind of a weird thing. I’m trying to push myself a little bit, hopefully I can try to play in the last two games. We’ll see. I don’t know if that’s possible or not.”
As for Pau Gasol, he is doubtful for Friday’s contest as he dealing with lingering effects of his second bout with vertigo that has forced him to miss eight of the last nine games. Gasol, who may also miss the final stretch of the season because of the illness, was able to workout at the team’s training facility on Thursday but will first need to be cleared medically before he can play in a game.
“He’ll play if he can, but he has to be medically cleared,” D’Antoni said of Gasol, who has missed seven of the last eight games.
With Los Angeles playing with shorthanded roster, expect a split of heavy minutes between Ryan Kelly, Jordan Hill, and Robert Sacre to fill the void of Gasol and Kaman. In the Lakers’ backcourt Jordan Farmar, who returned in Tuesday’s tilt after missing the last 11 games due to a right groin strain, and Kendall Marshall will shoulder the load at point guard with Nash out.
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