Steve Nash expects to make his return to the Los Angeles Lakers lineup on Christmas Day, the point guard said Thursday.
Nash, a 16-year veteran who suffered a broken leg two games into his first Lakers season, went through his initial full-contact practice since the injury Thursday.
It had been speculated that Nash would return Saturday against the Golden State Warriors, but he said he is more likely to come back Tuesday at home against the New York Knicks.
"There's no plan. I just want to get through today, see how I feel in the morning," Nash said. "If I'm able to practice (Friday), see how I feel Saturday, we'll just see how it goes. But I think Christmas is probably the most realistic."
Nash has been sidelined since Halloween with a non-displaced fracture in his left leg.
"I think the tendency is to rush back, but you definitely have to be careful," he said. "I don't want to rush back for two games and then be out for another extended period of time."
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni can't wait for his former point guard with the Phoenix Suns to return. The Lakers are 12-14, but have won their last three games.
"Whatever day he returns will be Christmas, so I guess there's that," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said jokingly. "He looked good today. Real good. You never know how he wakes up. But the first step was positive. He looks good on the floor. He said he felt good. We'll see if he can do it again tomorrow and keep building from there."
Nash was acquired in a sign-and-trade deal with the Suns last July.