Lawson being cautious in recovery from hamstring injury

Nuggets point guard increases activity in advance of homestand
by Aaron Lopez

Seeking an accurate report on the health of his starting point guard, Nuggets coach Brian Shaw issued a mandate for anyone defending Ty Lawson in practice Thursday.

Attack him and see what happens.

“I told the guys, ‘Don’t baby him. Go at him. That will let us know if he’s ready to play or not,’ ” Shaw said. “They did. They challenged him. He stepped up to it and I think proved to himself in his mind, he can make the stops and goes and things he needs to do."

Barring any setback, Shaw expects to have Lawson back in the lineup when the Nuggets open a four-game homestand Friday night against the Utah Jazz.

Lawson was limited for precautionary reasons near the end of practice but said he felt no pain in the left hamstring that he initially strained Dec. 6 against the Boston Celtics.

“It felt good,” he said after practice. “I’ll see if it gets sore tonight or (Friday) and make a decision.”

Lawson, who leads Denver in scoring and assists, has missed two straight games and wants to ensure he does not aggravate the injury by returning too soon.

“I felt something I had never felt before in my hamstring,” Lawson said. “I wanted to give it two or three days, try to practice once and then see what’s going on.”

The Nuggets were off Tuesday and went through a light practice Wednesday. Lawson received treatment both days and then passed another test with his return to practice Thursday.

“He caught it before it got really bad in the game against Boston,” Shaw said. “Before it actually tore, or whatever it does, he was able to catch it.”