Veteran point guard Steve Nash briefly practiced with the Lakers on Tuesday but doesn't expect to play on Friday when the team visits the Sacramento Kings.
"I don't know if it's out of the realm, but I would say it's probably very unlikely and very doubtful," Nash said.
Nash has been sidelined since Nov. 10 with nerve issues in his back.
"I don't know about a quick comeback, but I was encouraged to practice today some," Nash said. "I have no doubt that I'll get back on the court."
"We didn't want to push him," Coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We gave him 10 [minutes] today, 15 tomorrow, 20 the next day. We'll try to ramp him up."
The Lakers are suddenly very short at the point.
Jordan Farmar was diagnosed Monday with a torn hamstring. He'll sit out for two full weeks before beginning rehab.
Farmar, who received a platelet-rich plasma injection on Monday, said he hopes to beat the Lakers' four-week timeline for recovery.
Nash can't hasten his return simply because Farmar is unavailable.
"I don't know if I can have that urgency," Nash said, later adding: "If I race to come back ... and it's not quite right, I could be out forever or for months."
Steve Blake, the team's lone remaining point guard, is playing through a hyper-extended elbow.
With Nash not expecting to be available Friday, Xavier Henry will back up Blake, playing out of position at the point.
"We need it," said Henry after practice on Tuesday. "I'm comfortable doing it. It's not a big deal for me."
Henry will likely be charged with guarding high-scoring Sacramento reserve guard Isaiah Thomas, who stands at just at 5-foot-9.
"Everybody is pretty quick in this league," said the 6-foot-6 Henry.
"He's the classic point guard where he's just going to create," D'Antoni said. "We're just going to run it by committee."
D'Antoni may also turn to Jodie Meeks and Kobe Bryant at the point (if Bryant can return from his Achilles tendon injury by Friday).