Lakers G Steve Blake to miss 6-8 weeks

EL SEGUNDO – As Steve Nash continues to rehab from his leg injury, Los Angeles Lakers backup point guard Steve Blake also will not be returning to the lineup any time soon.

Blake has elected to undergo laparoscopic surgery Wednesday to repair a torn abdominal muscle, the Lakers announced Monday.

“It’s a big loss for the team,” Kobe Bryant said. “He is a good clutch shooter and ballhandler. He’s a tough competitor and I’ve always liked that about him.

“It’s a big concern to me. Steve and I have always played well together.”

The surgery will be performed by Dr. Craig Smith and it is expected that Blake will miss a minimum of six to eight weeks.

Blake was originally diagnosed with the abdominal strain on Nov. 12 and has missed the last 10 games with the injury. Nash has been sidelined since the second game of the season with a small fracture in his left leg. In their absence, Darius Morris and Chris Duhon have filled in with mixed results.

In seven games this season (five starts), Blake is averaging 5.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.29 steals in 26.0 minutes. He is shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.