EL SEGUNDO (CBSLA) – A sense of optimism about restarting the NBA season at some point appears to be growing this week after reports the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping to reopen their practice facility as early as next week.

The Lakers are targeting May 16 to return to the facility under the NBA’s coronavirus protocols, The Athletic’s Shams Carania reported Wednesday.

While there would only be less than a handful of players allowed to participate at any one time, the move signaled a readiness to consider ways for the NBA to move forward after it abruptly suspended the season in March after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel is among those expressing optimism, telling the Daily News, “No more than four players at a time with one coach and there’s obviously limitations to what you can really get accomplished in that setting. However, that’s a big step from where they’ve been for the last six or seven weeks or wherever that is. I think we have to find that balance of pushing their conditioning without breaking down their bodies.”

Under league guidelines released last month, no head or assistant coaches will be allowed to participate and full practices and scrimmages remain prohibited.

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