Nick Young starts shooting without a cast

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Nick Young has not been cleared to return to practice, but for the first time since having surgery last month to repair the torn radial collateral ligament in his right thumb, he shot with his right hand (i.e., his shooting hand) without a cast.

Young went through shooting drills and ran after the Lakers' practice on Monday, dribbling between his legs and driving to the basket. At one point he smiled and said, "It’s like riding a bike."

“This is another step in the process and taking that next step for Nick,” coach Byron Scott said. “He was able to handle ball today and shoot. There’s still no contact. Hopefully next week sometime he’ll be able to go through a full day of contact and scrimmaging and then we’ll go from there.”

If Young, who has yet to play a game this season, is able to go through contact drills in practice and scrimmage next week without any setbacks, he is expected back on the court by the end of the November.

Young, who averaged a career-high 17.9 points and 1.5 assists per game for the Lakers the past season, signed a four-year, $21.5 million extension with the team in July.