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Kobe, Pau Gasol likely to return to Lakers lineup Friday

Mar 20, 2013, 5:19 PM EDT

Pau Gasol Kobe Bryant Getty Images

Friday night, the Lakers may finally have a full healthy roster.

Kobe Bryant is expected to play following his ankle sprain and now it looks like Pau Gasol will be back from his foot injury. Coach Mike D’Antoni said as much after practice Wednesday which means the entire core of the team should be able to go Friday night when the Lakers take on the Wizards. Kevin Ding at the Orange County Register has the details.

At the time D’Antoni was speaking, Gasol was playing in a full-court 4-on-4 scrimmage that marked the first time he extended himself beyond halfcourt play in his recovery from a torn plantar fascia. Gasol is waiting to see how the foot feels after being pushed to that level — and whether he feels OK about moving up to full-court 5-on-5 Thursday — before deciding whether he plays Friday.

The Lakers’ next game after that is Monday at Golden State, beginning a four-game trip that goes on to Minnesota, Milwaukee and Sacramento. It appears that trip will be the truest test so far of where the Lakers are at full strength (aside from Jordan Hill, likely out of the season after hip surgery).

We really haven’t seen what the expected starting five of the Lakers — Steve Nash, Kobe, Metta World Peace, Gasol and Dwight Howard — can do. Well, they are 0-5 but with the early season turmoil of injuries and a radical coach and system change, there was no chance to get a read. Certainly they are talented, but how they work together remains to be seen.

All this should let Mike D’Antoni expand his rotation beyond eight players. Then the Lakers are have to both make the playoffs and build up as much chemistry and momentum as they can because their first round test is going to be very difficult, whoever it is.

  1. asimonetti88 - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Awesome, I’m excited! Pau is fun to watch

  2. urodaddy07 - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    LA needs more depth at the head coach position

    • asimonetti88 - Mar 20, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      Very few arguments here, but in the meantime added depth in the frontcourt will have to do.

  3. money2long - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    the lakers need you…my fantasy team needs you…Godspeed

  4. thetooloftools - Mar 20, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    I can’t wait till she gets back in the lineup.

  5. soflasfinest - Mar 20, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Lakers still suck. Go heat!

  6. mungman69 - Mar 20, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Lakers have a lot of guys who can play.

  7. bucs24 - Mar 20, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    So u will u like when the heat suck

    • miamatt - Mar 20, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      What?

  8. ambitoos - Mar 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    If only Mike D’Antoni knew anything about Defense the Lakers would be great.

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