Kobe to be assessed again in 3 weeks

"It's hard to hear that," Gasol said when asked about Bryant's delayed return. "For him first, because I know how much he loves the game and loves to play, and it's hard for us as a team having our best player not healthy and continuing to be injured. I know it's been a rough stretch for him, so, I just hope that he heals well and can come back when he's ready."

The injury situation for the Lakers, who have now lost 17 of 20, was daunting long before Bryant's latest update and Gasol's injury.

Point guard Steve Nash has played just six games this season with nerve problems in his back. The two-time MVP said he is hoping to play Tuesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to the Orange County Register.

Steve Blake, who hasn't played since Dec. 10 with an elbow injury, still isn't cleared for full practices, while fellow point guard Jordan Farmar has been out since New Year's Eve with a hamstring injury.

Swingman Xavier Henry hasn't played in a month while healing a bone bruise in his right knee.

"We're just going to play hard," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We'll get some guys back. The Steves and Farmar should be back pretty soon and, hopefully, X is right around the corner."

ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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