The Los Angeles Lakers head into their final preseason game before the start of the regular season with injury worries to two of their marquee players - Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant.
Kobe Bryant is still nursing an injury for the Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers take on the Jazz in Anaheim Friday night (Saturday morning IST) before the main deal starts with the regular season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
While Bryant looks set to miss the opener, having had to scale back on his training to prevent himself from suffering a setback, Nash's situation also remains uncertain.
"Steve hasn't been able to complete a practice yet, so that's the bigger issue," Gasol said of Nash, who has played limited minutes during preseason. "I'm a little bit concerned because I want him to be healthy, I want him to play. I want him to play and I want him to do well. I want him to help us. I hope that he can."
Nash is now the oldest player in the NBA, and admitted he is not as sprightly as he used to be, with which comes making certain adjustments. "It's a different stage in my career," the future Hall of Famer said. "I used to be able to get out, run up and down and feel like a world-beater every day, and now I have to try and get myself into some sort of form to try and execute for my team.
"It's a different frame of mind. It's a different challenge, but like I said, I'm up for it. I'm positive about it, I feel optimistic, I'm inspired by my teammates and I'm going to keep pushing through."
Bryant, meanwhile, remained quiet on his return from the long-term injury which has kept him out of basketball for six months. "I was cranking it up the entire time I was in China (for the Lakers' preseason tour)," Bryant said. "I've scaled back since, just to let it heal up a little bit more and get a little bit more flexibility to it. But it feels good just to run and break a sweat by running.
"I'm just trying to be calm and trying to be approaching it as the rest, the therapy is all a part of training. A lot of times when we think of training, we think of weights, we think of running, that sort of thing. And if I only looked at it from that standpoint, I'd drive myself crazy, so I try to think of it as this part of the process is part of training as well because this is going to enable me to come back and be at close to 100 percent as I can."
Where to watch
The game is scheduled for an 8 a.m. (IST) start on Saturday morning with no live telecast.
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