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Lakers' Steve Nash still uncertain of return

The point guard who has been sidelined since Nov. 10 because of nerve damage in his back says he doesn't know when he will be able to play for a sustainable period.

December 08, 2013|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni has a problem rationing minutes at point guard with veteran Steve Nash (10) and backup Jordan Farmar (not pictured) injured.
Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni has a problem rationing minutes at point… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

One-half of the Lakers' 30-something backcourt returned to action Sunday. But what about Steve Nash?

"I don't know," the injury-riddled point guard said several hours before Kobe Bryant played against Toronto.

"I had three good days of practice and I could play right now, but we don't really have any confidence that it's sustainable. Instead of playing, missing a few weeks, playing, missing a few weeks … try to get to a place where I could play and sustain it. We don't know when that is right now."

Nash has played in only six games this season, sidelined since Nov. 10 because of nerve damage in his back.

When he's played, he hasn't been effective — 6.7 points and 4.8 assists a game.

He probably won't play in the Lakers' trip that starts Friday in Oklahoma City. It's four games in five nights.

"That's kind of an all-or-nothing proposition," Nash said. "I think it's safe to say we'll wait beyond that."

He initially felt stronger after training with his personal physiotherapist for a week in Vancouver, Canada, two weeks ago. He even thought of playing last Friday against Sacramento.

Then, as Nash put it, there were "a couple minor moments or setbacks where you're like, 'Let's not be rash here and come back too soon.'"

Nash had an epidural shot in his back a few weeks ago but there were no plans for another any time soon.

"I don't know that those really help that much," he said. "I had two in the playoffs last year and they help, they take some of the sting out of it, but I can't get over the hump with an epidural."

So the Lakers will go with Steve Blake or Bryant at point guard, with a little bit of Xavier Henry mixed in too.

The player they excitedly signed to a three-year, $28-million contract in July 2012 remains sidelined until further notice.

Sacre silent

Center Robert Sacre started a second consecutive game but had only two points Sunday in the Lakers' 106-94 loss to Toronto.

He made one of three shots in 10 minutes and yielded time to Jordan Hill, who had 11 points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes.

Sacre replaced Hill in the starting lineup Friday against Sacramento and had 11 points and five rebounds that night.

"We might have to shake up the lineup [again] a little bit just because there's different dynamics," Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni said, referring to Bryant's return to the starting five.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

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