Nash, Blake to return for Lakers

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Updated: 2/04 4:08 pm

Minneapolis, MN ( - The Los Angeles Lakers will get back a couple of reinforcements to their battered backcourt for Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, with head coach Mike D'Antoni confirming to reporters that guards Steve Nash and Steve Blake will both start the contest.

The game will be Nash's first since he exited a home matchup with the Timberwolves on Nov. 10 due to pain in his lower back. The two-time league MVP has been limited to only six games and a combined 135 minutes this season due to back troubles.

D'Antoni said Nash will play the first 6-to-8 minutes of both halves in the soon-to-be 40-year-old's long-awaited return to the court.

Blake has been sidelined since mid-December with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He averaged 9.8 points, 7.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds over 21 starts prior to the injury.

D'Antoni did not update the status of fellow guard Jordan Farmar, who also resumed practicing along with Nash and Blake this past week. The former UCLA standout, out since Dec. 31 with a torn hamstring, is considered likely to play at some point during the team's current road trip.

The Lakers will play the first of back-to-back outings on Tuesday, with a visit to Cleveland on the docket for Wednesday.

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