Steve Nash likes strides he's making

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Lakers guard Steve Nash participated in his second consecutive practice Friday without limitations as he continues to recover from a fractured left fibula, but the 17-year veteran is not certain when he'll return to game action.

"There's a chance I play (Saturday)," Nash said of the possibility of his returning to the lineup when the Lakers go on the road to play the Golden State Warriors. "But I think Christmas, for sure."

The Lakers host the New York Knicks on Christmas Day.

Nash later clarified that there was only a "low chance" of him playing against the Warriors after missing the Lakers' last 24 games. He was hurt Oct. 31 against Portland.

"This is two days of basketball in seven weeks," Nash said. "It's not a home run that I just go back there in an NBA game."

The two-time MVP said he will make his final determination on whether he will play following Saturday's shootaround at Golden State. He wants to see how his body responds to Friday's practice and consult with the Lakers' doctors and trainers.

The Lakers have won three games in a row but certainly could use Nash. They are just 12-14 overall, 4-8 on the road.

"I think he gives us some excitement," said Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni, who coached Nash for five seasons in Phoenix. "We know we'll have some problems to work out, you always do, but to have a two-time MVP run your thing ... he's unbelievable, he's been running it forever and this is what you brought him here for and now, hopefully, he'll have a chance to do it."

While the 38-year-old Nash has tried to temper expectations, he admitted that testing himself in practice this week was a positive development.

"Surprisingly, I felt better than I thought, but there's still obviously some growing pains to get through," he said.