The Los Angeles Lakers are nearing that point when they will have their superstar Kobe Bryant back in the lineup. Just not on Friday when they travel to take on the Sacramento Kings, though.
Bryant practised for a third straight day on Thursday without any complications, but will not travel with the team for the Kings game, instead focusing on Sunday's encounter against the Toronto Raptors.
"I'm trying [to make it against Toronto]," Bryant said after practice on Thursday. "We got to see how it feels tonight. I'm going to try to get another hard session in and then [Friday] morning try to push it again and the same thing tomorrow evening. Continue to just keep on measuring it.
"The perfect-case scenario is that we get it right the first time. But if it's not, then you have to be smart about it as well and take a step back and build up the strength and say, 'Hey, listen, it's not as good as we thought it was going to be, so let's take a step back and get it to where we want it to be and try again.'"
The Lakers, 9-9, are on a decent run at the moment, having won five of their last seven games, even if they suffered a loss in their previous encounter against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.
During that 114-108 loss, the already short-handed Lakers were dealt another blow with Jordan Farmar tearing his hamstring and with it ruling him out of action for the next four weeks.
That leaves just Steve Blake as a true point guard for Mike D'Antoni at the moment with veteran Steve Nash still sidelined and no return date known.
"We have guys down right now, but we can't do anything about that," Xavier Henry said. "The guys we do have can still give any team a run for its money."
The Kings at the other end are on a five-game losing streak, albeit most of them extremely close contests, including the most recent 97-95 defeat to Oklahoma City Thunder.
Sacramento, however, did fall to a heavy loss to the Lakers late last month, with Henry and Pau Gasol controlling the game in a 100-86 result.
The Lakers will hope for more of the same on Friday night, while the Kings will be desperate to get out of their slump as soon as possible.
Live Streaming Information and Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for an 8.30 am IST start with live coverage on Sony Six. You can live stream the game online by clicking HERE.