Steve Nash has missed 19 games due to a fractured fibula, and the Lakers have looked terrible in his absence. But tabbing him as a hero lying in wait is dangerous ground, and the Lakers are walking that fine line every time they mention his name.
Nash had two points, four rebounds and four assists against the Trail Blazers before the injury, after scoring seven points and dishing out four assists in the Lakers' season-opening loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Nash injured his shin late in the second quarter when he collided with Portland's Damian Lillard. He limped off the court and met with the training staff before spending the rest of the first half in the locker room. He came out to start the third quarter wearing a protective sleeve over his shin and appeared ready to play the second half. After re-entering the game, Nash was clearly bothered by the injury and once again exited for the locker room.
Nash joins a long list of Lakers nursing injuries, including Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. The injury comes at a tough time for the Lakers as Los Angeles is scheduled to play the Clippers on Friday. Playing a third game in three days and attempting to guard Chris Paul would already be a tough situation for Nash. Attempting to do that at less than 100 percent will be a serious challenge for the 38-year-old Nash.
The Lakers' training staff said Nash injured his shin, and not his knee or ankle, but is expected to return in the second half, according to Mike Trudell of NBA.com.
The injury occurred after Nash had played 15 minutes against Portland. After scoring just seven points in his Lakers debut on Tuesday, Nash had scored two points on 1-of-3 shots before heading back to the locker room. He did, however, have four assists before leaving.
Steve Blake entered the game for Nash and played the rest of the second quarter. The injury is just the latest to hit the Lakers, who have also been dealing with injuries to Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard.