The Lakers will play tonight's Christmas game without either star rookie Lonzo Ball or young star Brandon Ingram, but the Timberwolves will get Nemanja Bjelica back for the first time since Nov. 22.
Bjelica missed the last 15 games because of a mid-foot sprain, but he has been cleared to play tonight, although Tom Thibodeau said he doesn't know just how much Bjelica will.
Bjelica hoped he was just a game away from returning three weeks ago, but soreness returned in his foot so he and Wolves decided to wait until it completely subsided. He began working out extensively a week ago and has experienced no such soreness since then.
"I knew it was going to come," he said before tonight's game. "I just had to be patient, no rush and ready for next. I feel I am ready now."
Ball will miss the TNT game broadcast by the network's Thursday night studio crew -- Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson -- because of shoulder sprain sustained Saturday against Portland.
Ingram was scratched little more than an hour before game time because of a quad contusion and tendinitis.