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Steve Blake will probably return Thursday vs. Boston

February 8, 2012 |  2:02 pm


The Lakers are finally getting some help at backup point guard, and it's coming from their own roster.

Steve Blake is expected to play Thursday against Boston after missing 13 games because of a rib injury. He took part in a full practice Wednesday and reported no pain. He is technically a game-time decision but sounds ready to go.

"Had a fun time," he said after practice. "I'm feeling pretty good."

Blake will wear a protective vest and what he described as a "bubble pad" on the left side of his chest to shield fractured cartilage in his rib area.

He was a tad worried about his conditioning after missing almost an entire month.

"It’s tough after sitting so long to be where you were," he said. "So it’s still going to take me time no matter what."

Blake is averaging 7.3 points and 24.3 minutes this season. Rookie Andrew Goudelock had given the Lakers a boost at point guard in recent games and might play alongside Blake on the Lakers' second unit.

"He's played good basketball for us," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said. "I think those guys can play together. You’ve got two guys on the floor that can handle the basketball, that can shoot the ball, that are aggressive offensively. Hopefully that continues to help your bench."

In that alignment, Blake would be assigned shooting guards on defense and Goudelock would stick with point guards, Brown said.


NBA suspends Mike Brown for one game

Lakers falter at the finish in loss to the Utah Jazz

Mike Brown keeps them guessing with lineup changes

— Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Steve Blake at his introductory news conference in 2010. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.