Even with the Lakers wanting their starters having more on-court time, Coach Mike Brown said the training staff won’t expedite Steve Nash’s recovery from a small fracture in his left leg.
The Lakers are expecting Nash to miss at least a week of games. According to the team’s timetable, that means Nash will sit out in games against Detroit (tonight), at Utah (Wednesday) and vs. Golden State (Saturday). But with the Lakers’ planning to evaluate Nash after that, the Lakers guard could sit out longer.
“We want to make sure we’re not putting these guys in a position to injure themselves even more so they’re out for a longer period of time,” Brown said. “We want to make sure we’re patient with these guys and other guys can step up.”
Nash suffered the original injury, a lower contusion in his left leg, in the Lakers’ loss Wednesday to the Portland Trail Blazers. Then, Nash collided with rookie point guard Damian Lillard against his left shin with 2:26 left in the first half.
The Lakers originally thought Nash had a bruised shin, but an MRI on Saturday revealed he had a non-displaced fracture in the head of Nash’s fibula.
Dr. Elton Strauss, an Orthopaedic Surgeon with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, wrote in an email that athletes typically recover from such an injury in at least two weeks. The recovery process could be longer, though.
“The fracture is in the soft bone (cancellous) and heals clinically within 10 -14 days and is healed when an x-ray is done at 6 weeks,” Strauss wrote. “The fracture should be stable with little to no movement. The fibula has a broad ligament attachment with good blood supply that envelops the fracture and excellent blood healing potential during the healing process.”
The Lakers value Nash’s presence for his playmaking and court vision. But through two games, Nash has struggled, averaging only 4.5 points on 33 percent shooting and four assists in 25 minutes per contest. Meanwhile, the Lakers have started 0-3 for the first time since the 1978-79 season.
Lakers reserve Steve Blake started in Nash’s place against the Clippers, posting eight points on 2 of 6 shooting, two assists and six fouls in 38 minutes. Darius Morris will assume the backup point guard spot.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter.