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Gasol to return to Lakers' lineup

The Los Angeles Lakers will have one of their injured All-Stars back in action for Tuesday's game against the Charlotte Bobcats, with forward Pau Gasol set to return from a two-week absence.

Gasol has missed the Lakers' last eight games while battling tendinitis in both of his knees. The four-time All-Star has not played since Dec. 2, with the team having gone just 3-5 in his absence.

Head coach Mike D'Antoni said Gasol will start against the Bobcats and will not have his minutes restricted.

"I'm feeling well, I'm happy with the practice that I did today and how I felt," said Gasol on Monday.

Billed as one of the top contenders in the Western Conference, the Lakers have had a disappointing 11-14 start with Gasol missing significant time and two- time league MVP Steve Nash having appeared in only two games due to a badly bruised left shin. Nash's backup at point guard, Steve Blake, is also currently sidelined after undergoing abdominal surgery earlier this month.

Nash, who has been out since Oct. 31, is scheduled to participate in a 5-on-5 contact practice on either Thursday or Friday, according to D'Antoni, and is aiming to return for Saturday's game at Golden State.