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Steve Nash to start Tuesday night for Lakers-Timberwolves

Steve Nash's return will coincide with the return of Steve Blake, who has been out since Nov. 26 with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. (Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) Steve Nash's return will coincide with the return of Steve Blake, who has been out since Nov. 26. (Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash will return to the court on Tuesday night, coincidentally against the same Minnesota Timberwolves team he last played against before being sidelined on Nov. 10 with various injuries, including back, hamstring and a host of nerve root issues.

According to a report on Tuesday from Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni will start Nash but play him five-to-eight minutes per half.

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"I’d like Steve to warm up instead of sitting down and coming up," D'Antoni said. "He’s always been a starter. If he can’t go, he can’t go, and we’ll make adjustments.”

Lakers guard Steve Blake will join Nash in the backcourt as he returns from a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow suffered Nov. 26 against the Wizards.

Nash said he's confident that if he can play a few games without any pain, he will likely be able to finish the team. Earlier in the season, rumors swirled about the 39-year-old two-time MVP considering a mid-season retirement.

“If I can get through that window there where I put some games behind me, there’s a chance I can finish the season.”

Pau Gasol, who has been mentioned in trade rumors with Phoenix, will be held out of game action for the week as he nurses a groin injury, and Kobe Bryant's season remains in jeopardy as he continues his rehab from a fractured knee suffered earlier in the season, his second serious injury in the past year.

Los Angeles is 16-31 heading into a three-game road trip beginning in Minnesota on Tuesday. They are second-to-last in the Pacific Division, behind only the Sacramento Kings.

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