Lakers are limping into final stretch of home games

The Lakers held one of their final practices of the season in El Segundo, preparing for their last two regular season games at Staples Center (Golden State Warriors on Friday and Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday).

"I think guys just want to finish the season on a positive note. We have four games in six days," center Chris Kaman said Thursday after practice. "I don't think anybody is trying to give in now."

Of course Kaman is one of the team's many injured players, sidelined with a calf injury.

"I'm doing all right.  It's slow.  I've never really had an injury like this," he said. "I'm trying to knock on playing the last two games, I don't know if that's possible or not."

The Lakers finish the season the road next week in Utah on Monday and San Antonio on Wednesday.

Kobe Bryant (knee), Kent Bazemore (foot) and Xavier Henry (knee, wrist) are done for the year.

Pau Gasol's status is up in the air as he tries to work his way back after suffering vertigo.

"He'll play if he can, but he has to be medically cleared," said Coach Mike D'Antoni.  "I don't think it's clear right now whether he can go or not."

Gasol did a light workout on Thursday but is considered doubtful for Friday.

After climbing to third place on the NBA's all-time assist list on Tuesday, in a loss to the Houston Rockets, Steve Nash indicated he aggravated the nerve root issue in his back that kept him out for most the season.

According to D'Antoni, Nash is hoping to play again before the end of the season.

"Steve said he feels a lot better," said D'Antoni.  "As soon as he thinks he can play, he wants to -- and he will."

With the Lakers at 25-53, long out of playoff contention, why would the veteran players push to return?

"One, they like to play. Two, you want to finish up the year and show everybody you're healthy," said D'Antoni.  "But I think mostly, it's for your teammates. Try to go out and get a win for your guys."

Point guard Jordan Farmar said he's happy to be back on the court after a sitting out an extended period with a groin injury.

"It felt good. It's fun to be out there," said Farmar, who returned Tuesday against the Rockets.  "It's tough losing but it felt good to play basketball."

Farmar has missed 41 games this season with hamstring and groin injuries.

D'Antoni said he's not going to push Farmar too hard over the final stretch.

"We want be fair, but we don't want to put him back on the shelf," said D'Antoni.

The future isn't clear for the Lakers, with few returning players under contract. Nick Young is the team's leading scorer at 17.5 points a night.

Though he's had a good year individually, Young is disappointed with the Lakers' record.

"I want to be here and be a part of a team that's going to the playoffs and fighting for championships," said Young. "We didn't get a chance to get that -- being a part of the Laker parade, having my own little speech like [Shaquille O'Neal] did, 'Can you dig it?'"

Young, who signed a two-year minimum deal before the season, can opt out of his second season ($1.2 million).

Though he wouldn't state his intentions on the opt out directly, Young implied he'll choose free agency -- and that he'd love to re-sign with the Lakers.

"Most definitely," said Young. "I'm very confident. I think we're going to come to some kind of agreement.  Hopefully it happens. We just have to see what they're going to do."

Finally, Kaman admitted to one regret: recently shaving his thick beard.

"It was a mistake is what it was. I'm going to grow it back," said Kaman. "Next year you'll see me -- an old Grizzly Adams."

Kaman signed a one-year $3.2-million contract with the Lakers last summer.


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