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Steve Blake to play in Game 2 against New Orleans

April 20, 2011 |  7:09 pm

Steve-blake_275 After two days of practice and finishing pre-game warmups, Steve Blake will return to the lineup in Game 2 of the Lakers-Hornets series after being sidelined for the past week because of chickenpox.

"I missed it," Blake said at his locker about his three-game absence after contracting the highly contagious disease that's mostly reserved for small children. "I just miss being outside. I couldn't wait to drive my car. To be out with all the guys and hang out with everybody is nothing better than that."

Blake still doesn't know the origin of getting the illness, saying he doesn't know anyone that has the chickenpox. But he says he felt relieved in recovering in only a week, considering adults often have more serious symptoms from chickenpox than do children, according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.  Blake's activity was solely confined to resting, taking antibiotics and avoiding contact with people, a reason why he visited the doctor Monday morning to confirm he wasn't contagious before returning to practice.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said Blake is healthy enough to play his season average of 20 minutes per game, and Blake added his conditioning has improved since two days of practice.

Said Blake: "Hopefully by today, I won't fall on my face at all."

--Mark Medina

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Photo: Lakers point guard Steve Blake practices free throws before Game 2 at Staples Center on Wednesday evening. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire