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KUSA - Contradictory to the recent fortunes of the Nuggets, the head coach was hopeful about Ty Lawson's rapid return to the court. But it just won't be happening Tuesday against Phoenix.

"He's still at least a few days away from being able to get back out on the court," Shaw said of his point guard. "He's feeling better but still not good enough to play."

Lawson suffered a fractured rib when he landed awkwardly on a drive against Detroit ten days ago. He was in significant pain when he left the court. The point guard missed the following the two games - both disappointing blowout losses - and was able to get an extended amount of rest due to the All-Star break.

The Nuggets don't have a definitive timetable for his return, though the head coach would hope that it happens in the very near future. Denver's struggles correlate directly with Lawson's absence as they have lost four straight games without their leader in scoring, assists and steals.

Shaw conceded that it will be very difficult to win with the pieces that are available - guard Nate Robinson, center JaVale McGee and forward Danilo Gallinari are also out - but he still hasn't been pleased with their effort of late.

"Nobody felt good about the way that road trip started and ended," said Shaw. The Nuggets were defeated by a combined 110 points in the four games away from home leading into the break. "We're not going to make excuses about injuries and who's here and who's not here."