Steve Nash says he doesn't expect to play Thursday against Thunder

Steve Nash says he doesn't expect to play Thursday against Thunder
Steve Nash did not return for the second half of Tuesday's loss to the Utah Jazz, 96-79, because of discomfort in his leg and back. (Danny Moloshok / Associated Press)

For two straight games, Steve Nash left early with back, knee and hamstring issues, all related to the chronic nerve root irritation that has kept him out of the Lakers' lineup for most of the season.

"It's pretty much the same thing.  It was provoked by hitting that nerve where I broke my leg, but it just provokes the whole nerve root," said Nash.  "It was just sore from Sunday."


Nash hurt his knee in a collision Sunday in a loss to the Chicago Bulls, leaving in the third quarter. He wasn't able to play the second half Tuesday, as the Lakers fell to the Utah Jazz.

Now the Lakers guard expects to sit out the team's final game before the All-Star break, when the Oklahoma City Thunder visit Staples Center on Thursday.

"I don't think I'll play tomorrow," Nash said on Wednesday at the team's practice facility in El Segundo.

The Lakers didn't have enough healthy bodies to practice. Instead, the team watched film and shot around.

"After having a really good week in Minnesota and Philadelphia, to have a setback is frustrating. Getting hit in the exact spot where I broke my leg was unlucky," he said. "You've got to fight through the frustration and do what you can to get back out there."

Nash said he wouldn't have played Tuesday if the Lakers had anything close to a full roster.

"I just wanted to see if I could play and help a little bit because we had so few guys," Nash said. "I would have pulled myself if we had a full roster, or even another guy or two. We just don't have that luxury, and I felt bad for the guys to bail on them with such a short bench."

The Lakers head into this weekend's All-Star break without Kobe Bryant (knee), Pau Gasol (groin), Nick Young (knee), Jodie Meeks (ankle), Xavier Henry (knee), Jordan Farmar (hamstring) and Nash.

Nash, now 40 years old, has played in 10 games this season, averaging 7.6 points and 4.7 assists.

He said he's not paying attention to the suggestion (be it from the fans or the media) that he consider shutting his career down early.

"I didn't pound my chest when people told me I was great for a long time in my career," Nash said.  "I'm not going to let it affect me when people think I should look myself in the mirror."

"I just love to play the game, and I want to get back out there and play and live a long life without it, hopefully."

Coach Mike D'Antoni took a moment Wednesday to reflect on Nash's career.


"He's one of the best players ever, he's a two-time [NBA MVP]. My gosh, what he did was unbelievable. Where he came from he should be playing hockey or something," D'Antoni joked.  "He's gotten so many guys paid, it's not even funny."


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