EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Lakers are down to zero healthy point guards.
Steve Blake is expected to miss at least six weeks with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, the team announced Thursday. The Lakers were already playing without Steve Nash (nerve root irritation) for the past 12 games and Jordan Farmar (hamstring tear) for the past three games.
Blake had an MRI, which revealed the injury. He was hurt in the second half of the Lakers' 116-111 road loss to the Washington Wizards on Nov. 26. The 11-year veteran will not accompany the Lakers on their four-game road trip through Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Atlanta and Memphis and will visit a doctor Friday to receive a platelet-rich plasma injection into the tear.
"If I was a baseball player, I probably would have surgery, but we're thinking with time and a PRP injection, we think that will be sufficient enough to heal it up," Blake said.
The Lakers have no immediate plans to add a point guard to their roster via trade, free agency or D-League call-up in wake of the news.
"I think for the time being we're going to roll with what we've got," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. "To find a player that doesn't belong to somebody right now that can come in and play in front of Kobe [Bryant], in front of Xavier [Henry], in front of Jodie [Meeks], it's unlikely.
"But maybe there's a player out there that we can take a look at. ... It's a good time to perhaps look at a player, but I don't think there's somebody that we're going to bring in and we're going to start or is going to play big minutes."
Asked specifically about Leandro Barbosa, as well as former Lakers Darius Morris and Chris Duhon, Kupchak said they are all "on the list" in terms of players the team is considering.
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said Bryant and Meeks would be the starting backcourt against the Thunder, with Bryant handling point guard duties. Henry, who was already playing backup point since Farmar's injury, will continue to fill that role.
"I don't really have a choice right now," Bryant said of suddenly running the team in just his third game back after nearly eight months off with a torn Achilles in his left leg. "I got to get out there and do a lot more than expected in terms of handling the ball and doing significantly more running."
Bryant has averaged 3.5 assists and 5.5 turnovers in his first two games back and even started to transition to more of a frontcourt role against Phoenix, guarding the small forward on defense and being a screen setter on offense. Those developments will be scrapped for the time being because of the Blake's injury.
"I think he always likes the challenges," Pau Gasol said of the prospect of Bryant at the point. "Maybe it might be a little too early in the process of recovering and getting back in shape, but you can't really set the rules here. Things, you have to face them as they come, and we have no point guards right now so we have to get Kobe and Xavier playing the point for as long as they need to."
Henry has averaged 1.7 assists and 1.0 turnovers per game since Farmar went out.
"I've had to do it these past few games, so I don't expect too much to change," said Henry, who had not played point guard since his AAU days prior to the backup assignment. "It was kind of forced upon me. I had to get comfortable playing it. And it wasn't anything that's crazy out of my element, like I've never seen it before. It's just handling the ball and starting the offense."
Farmar will join the Lakers on the road to continue to rehabilitate his hamstring with the training staff but will not play. He will be re-evaluated when the Lakers get back to L.A. next week. Nash will not attend the trip and plans to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia, for another set of workout sessions with his personal trainer, Rick Celebrini.
"Although Steve Nash doesn't have a timetable right now, we understand that Jordan is probably closest to coming back," Kupchak said. "If we can last a couple of weeks, a week or two, and get Jordan back, then we'll be OK."
Blake injured himself while defending Washington's John Wall when the 23-year-old former No. 1 pick was pushing the ball in transition.
"I went for the steal and kind of jammed my arm up into his body," said Blake, 33. "I think that's when I tore it."
It mirrored the freak injury that Nash, 39, suffered in just the second game of last season when he fractured his leg from a collision with Portland Trail Blazers 23-year-old star guard Damian Lillard, which spurred the nerve issues in his back and hamstrings that he continues to cope with.
"It's weird," D'Antoni said. "Strange stuff. This is an injury that never happens. It happened. Steve [Nash] got that nerve problem that never happens. It happened. Just, we'll fight through it."
After experiencing a litany of injuries to the roster last season and now having the injury bug starting to hit hard again, Kupchak said the team won't allow itself to lament its bad luck.
"There's nobody in this league that thinks that way," Kupchak said. "If you think anybody is feeling sorry for us or we're feeling sorry for somebody else, that's not how it works. It's a part of doing business in this league, whether it's basketball or football or baseball or college. It's a constant variable that teams deal with, which is injuries."