The Lakers' lack of depth was apparent in their loss Monday night without injured Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, but it's fairly likely that both will be back in action in the next Lakers game Friday night vs. Washington. Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said about the return of Bryant, who joined the team on the bench for the second half in Phoenix: "Probably Friday." Gasol is scheduled to undergo an ultrasound exam today regarding soreness in his right foot that had a plantar fascia tear, but the Lakers' expectation that he is ready to return was clear given D'Antoni talking about using practices Wednesday and Thursday to reintegrate Gasol. Earl Clark, who replaced Gasol as a starter when Metta World Peace was struggling to defend quick small forwards and D'Antoni wanted more athleticism, had a poor game Monday night with repeated mental breakdowns. D'Antoni plans to have Gasol start and finish games again, and the two were already huddling in the Lakers' training room after the game late Monday night. About that lack of depth without both Bryant and Gasol – and not playing Darius Morris, Chris Duhon, Devin Ebanks or Robert Sacre until garbage time Monday night in a back-to-back situation – D'Antoni said: "It means they're not playing well enough to play."
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