Kimie Bunyasaranand
Saturday November 24th, 2012

Steve Blake Mike D'Antoni says backup point guard Steve Blake could return as early as Tuesday. Blake missed the past five games with an abdominal strain. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Lakers backup point guard Steve Blake could return to the team on Tuesday, according to NBC Sports. Blake has missed the last five games with an abdominal strain, but coach Mike D'Antoni says if the nine-year veteran goes through practice successfully on Monday, he'll play Tuesday against the Pacers.

Blake's return would add a needed boost to the team's backcourt--starting point guard Steve Nash is still out with a fractured left leg and has yet to perform running exercises.

In his introductory press conference last week, D'Antoni said he had hoped to coach Blake for the past 10 years and he was looking forward to adding him to his offensive system. Before the injury, Blake had 5.1 points and 3.4 assists in 26 minutes per game.

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