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Pau Gasol expects to play Friday against rival Boston Celtics

Professional BasketballPau GasolLos Angeles LakersBoston CelticsGolden State WarriorsSteve BlakeXavier Henry

Pau Gasol expects to play Friday night when the Lakers (18-36) host the Boston Celtics (19-36) at Staples Center.

"I feel good.  I feel confident, so I look forward to tomorrow's game," said Gasol after practice Thursday.

Gasol has sat out since Jan. 31 with a groin injury. Barring a setback Friday, Gasol should be back in the Lakers' starting lineup.

"Unless I wake up tomorrow and I'm extremely sore," Gasol said. "It feels good right now."

The Lakers and Celtics are struggling through difficult rebuilding seasons, but even at their worsts, the rivalry seems to bring out the best in both franchises.

"It's the Celtics, so let's do it," said Gasol. "Let's go after it and have some fun and make sure we continue to compete until the last second for our fans and our franchise."

Jordan Farmar (hamstring) and Jodie Meeks (ankle) returned from injury Wednesday night in a loss to the Houston Rockets.

Coach Mike D'Antoni noted Nick Young (knee) is almost ready but won't play Friday. Xavier Henry (knee) has increased his activity and will be reevaluated next week.

Steve Nash (nerve root irritation) didn't practice and is considered day-to-day.

D'Antoni conceded that Nash may not play much throughout the remainder of the season.

"It's a little bit of a question of him getting healthy; a question of, we want to give room to a lot of the guys, so he's willing to try to get ready ... if he can," said D'Antoni.

Kobe Bryant (knee) is still sidelined without a concrete timeline.

The Lakers acquired Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks from the Golden State Warriors for Steve Blake on Thursday. Neither arrived in time for practice Thursday.

ALSO:

Lakers trade Steve Blake to Golden State Warriors

Pau Gasol remains with Lakers as NBA trade deadline passes

Dwight Howard visits Lakers for first time since spurning them

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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