Lakers’ Steve Nash “definitely hopeful” he will play Friday vs. Clippers

PORTLAND — As he hobbled toward the locker room, Lakers guard Steve Nash brought another painful reminder on how the team’s fortunes largely rests on health.

Nash suffered a lower contusion in his left leg during the Lakers’ 116-106 loss Wednesday to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden after colliding with point guard Damian Lillard. Nash said he’s “definitely hopeful” he will play when the Lakers host the Clippers Friday at Staples Center. But it’s not guaranteed. The Lakers plan to reevaluate Nash during Thursday’s practice.

“I’ve had contusions before but not necessarily in this spot,” Nash said. “It’s kind of frustrating.”

Nash clutched below his left knee during the collision that he said hit his shin with 2:26 left in the first half. Nash returned wearing a protective yellow sleeve to open the second half. But he then went back to the locker room with 10:44 left in the third quarter.

Nash then spent the remainder of the game receiving treatment and icing his left leg.

“It was sore,” Nash said. “But I went out and tried to play and then I planted on it. I gave out on it. I couldn’t function or plant on it or push off or accelerate.”

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