That should be on Monday in the Lakers' road game against the Clippers.
"It was good to have him back out there," Walton said after Nance participated fully in Saturday's practice. "I think he'll be good to go by Monday. … If he's good to go and cleared and ready, I don't see any reason to not put him back in the starting lineup."
Nance broke his hand on Nov. 2 in Portland and was told then that his recovery would take anywhere from four to six weeks. The injury was a fracture to his second metacarpal, the bone that begins in the hand and extends out to become the index finger.
But that timetable didn't sit right with Nance.
He had surgery on Nov. 3 and said his cast came off three days later, replaced by a splint. Just two and a half weeks removed from the surgery, Nance was begging for a return but the Lakers wanted to be cautious, especially given his age and how much he uses both of his hands while playing.
"These guys pulled me back a little bit, and I'm grateful for that because I felt great today," Nance said.
He said practiced under the observation of head trainer Marco Nunez "to make sure I didn't do anything dumb."
He almost did at one point during practice: He dunked the ball and then hung on to the rim with both hands. He took a moment before realizing that wasn't a great idea. He said his hand didn't hurt from doing that, but that he knew he shouldn't be pushing it.
"We were scoring the heck out of the ball," Nance said of what he noticed about the Lakers during his absence. "Kuz was outstanding. Julius [Randle] was outstanding. BI [Brandon Ingram] had a heck of a rhythm going. Different guys were stepping up at different times. Offensively we looked awesome. I think it'll help on the rebounding end a little bit and get the defense back to where it once was."
That's all part of what Walton is seeking with Nance's return.
"I think our rebounding's gone down," Walton said. "Just the versatility at that four spot, the way we like to play, him being able to defend multiple positions. Obviously he's got some years in the league. For a young team that's pretty valuable. Larry's great at doing all the little things that help teams win that don't get a lot of credit. And he's got the ability and the skill to do the fancy things too."
Lakers point guard