Kemba Walker practiced on Thursday for the first time since suffering a second degree sprain in his left ankle on Jan. 18.

Walker believes he is nearing a return to the Charlotte Bobcats and might come back on Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I’m definitely close,” Walker said. “I’ve been working extensively on my ankle to get back. I’m just ready to play, tired of sitting on sidelines.

“I don’t want to rush anything but I’ll definitely get back out there.”

The Bobcats have gone 3-2 in the absence of Walker, who is averaging 18.7 points this season. Walker sprinted and tested his ankle on Thursday.