- Arash Markazi, ESPN Staff Writer
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Center Andrew Bynum, however, might still be a week or two away from returning and will be re-evaluated by doctors Friday night.
"Luke was back on the floor today and we're hopefully that he'll have a real good response to this practice and be available on Sunday," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson of Walton, who has played in only 24 games this season while battling a pinched nerve in his lower back.
Bynum, who is recovering from a strained left Achilles' tendon, had hoped to be back by the end of the week but it seems more likely he won't be able return until the Lakers' final three games at Staples Center, beginning April 11 against the Portland Trailblazers.
"They will do an assessment tomorrow and we'll find out more about it," Jackson said. "They were going to do some diagnostic tests but they decided it wasn't really necessary because his pain is just localized. They say it's progressing and according to my crack training staff they say it's right on schedule. My schedule is not like that but it's right on their schedule."
Jackson doesn't seem to be in a hurry to rush Bynum back to the court but admits he will become anxious if Bynum's injury prevents him from playing prior to the opening of the playoffs April 17.
"What was said to me was, for the type of injury it could be weeks so when people say weeks I'm glad they don't say months because then you have to take a real long gander at it," he said. "Weeks could be anything from 2-4 and anything above there you get anxious. It's been 12 days and I'm hoping that in another 10 days or so that he's ready and capable [of playing]."
Arash Markazi is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.