Since Steve Nash’s 2012 arrival in Los Angeles, the 40-year-old point guard has been sidelined by one injury after the other. Just two games into his inaugural season with the Lakers, Nash suffered a fracture in his left leg, causing him to miss the next 24 games. Since that point, Nash has battled back and hamstring injuries and nerve damage.
This season, Nash played in six of the first eight games of the season before his body betrayed him again, causing him to miss 39 games. The 18-year veteran returned to action on Feb. 4 and managed to play in four of five games, but was again sidelined by the nerve damage. As a result, Serena Winters of LakersNation.com reports that Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni believes Nash’s ability to contribute will be day-to-day as the frustrating season winds down:
D'Antoni says Steve Nash being day-to-day for the rest of the season is unfortunately a possibility.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) February 20, 2014
D’Antoni’s sentiment corroborates with general manager Mitch Kupchak’s remarks that Nash’s future with the Lakers will be “a challenge.” Nash is averaging 7.6 points per game, his lowest total since the 1999-2000 season.
With 28 games remaining in the season, if Nash is able to play in 16-18 of them, it would have to be considered a success. While he has battled admirably to get back on the court, Nash’s body is simply unable to keep pace with what his mind and heart desire. Nash has appeared in 10 games this season, which disqualifies the Lakers from exercising the medical retirement option on the point guard. However, the team may opt to use the stretch provision on Nash, which would place him on waivers and allow the Lakers to pay out the remainder of his salary over a three-year period.
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