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Luke Walton to play in Wednesday's Game 2

May 5, 2009 |  2:17 pm

The headline gives away most of the important information, but it's good news for the Lakers. 

Luke Walton, who missed Game 1 with a left ankle injury suffered in Game 4 of the Utah series, practiced and will play on Wednesday in Game 2 against Houston.

More below the jump.

After practice, Walton stayed on the floor to do extra work, running the floor and testing the injured joint with a series of hard cuts and movements simulating offensive sets.  While Walton and Phil Jackson had spoken about playing in Game 2 after Sunday's practice, that he was able to go hard today made his participation Wednesday far more likely. 

While Walton said he felt good Tuesday, he's clearly not 100%.  "I mean, it's good enough to play," he said.  Missing Game 1 was tough, but all in all he feels fortunate it won't be more.  "To be honest, (when I hurt it) I didn't know what it was.  I had nothing to compare it to," he said of the injury, which turned out to be a partial tear of a deltoid ligament. That's saying something, since Walton is no stranger to ankle and foot problems.

It's never a good thing to view Walton as a cure-all, and I'm certainly not going to do that, but like I mentioned last night, against a team that is very effective defensively adding another guy who can move the ball effectively can only help. Defensively, if he has enough strength in the leg, Walton is a larger body to put on some of Houston's bruisers. 

Basically, his presence adds another element to the second unit, and gives PJ more options.  Choice is always a good thing.