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Lakers’ Steve Nash Eyes Christmas Day Return

Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash, who is still recovering from a fractured left fibula, is eying a Christmas day return to the lineup against the New York Knicks.

“There’s a chance I play (Saturday),” Nash told reporters after Friday’s practice as the Lakers hit the road to play the Golden State Warriors. “But I think Christmas, for sure.”

But Nash later made clear that there was a low probability that he would actually play against the Warriors. He has not played in the Lakers’ last 24 games after being injured on Oct. 31 against the Portland Trail Blazers.

The two-time MVP returned to practice floor on Monday, but admitted that he will not rush his return to the lineup.

“This is two days of basketball in seven weeks,” Nash said after practicing in his second consecutive practice without being limited. “It’s not a home run that I just go back there in an NBA game.”

Nash will decide on whether to play in Saturday’s game against the Warriors after their shootaround. He would like to see how his body handles Friday’s practice and would like the opinions of Lakers’ doctors and trainers.

The return of the 38-year-old is expected to fix some of the Lakers’s problems, given that he played under Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni’s system for five seasons with the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers are looking forward to getting Nash back after signing him in free agency over the summer.

“I think he gives us some excitement,” D’Antoni said. “We know we’ll have some problems to work out, you always do, but to have a two-time MVP run your thing … he’s unbelievable, he’s been running it forever and this is what you brought him here for and now, hopefully, he’ll have a chance to do it.”

Nash has surprised himself since returning to practice this week.

“Surprisingly, I felt better than I thought, but there’s still obviously some growing pains to get through he said.

The Lakers will have to get through their own growing pains with or without Nash. They are currently 12-14 overall and 4-8 on the road as they head to Golden State. They are currently on a three-game winning streak and hope to add another win to their column.

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