Steve Nash believes he can manage pain in left leg

OAKLAND — Sitting by his locker stall, Lakers guard Steve Nash exuded a sense of calmness.

That quality both illustrated the Lakers’ resiliency in their 118-115 overtime win Saturday over the Golden State Warriors. It also reflected how Nash has stayed even keel surrounding his fractured left leg that has since healed.

Nash played for the first time in just over two months, posting 12 points on 5 of 8 shooting and nine assists with few visible signs that his left leg has slowed him down.

“There’s some soreness and some pain, but right now it’s okay. It’s manageable. As long as it’s manageable, I’ll just keep going.”

Nash spoke those words while he planted his feet in a bucket of water, one of several routines the Lakers guard presumably will take to ensure the leg injury that kept him sidelined for 24 games won’t flare up again. The Lakers will also take the day off on Sunday, giving Nash more time to assess how his 38-year-old body responded to playing 41 minutes. This came after only two days of five-on-five contact drills after going through several weeks limited to stationary ball handling and shooting drills.

“I thought it would be a lot worse after so many weeks out and so much inactivity,” Nash said. “There’s no replicating the game of basketball. To play 40 minutes after seven weeks out is more than I can ask for. I actually felt in a decent rhythm right now.”

Still, that doesn’t mean Nash has healed all wounds.

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni estimated it will take Nash at least a week to return to peak conditioning. Nash has also predicted he will feel pain in his foot for the next three to four weeks.

“I feel pretty positive,” Nash said. “It didn’t give me too much trouble. There’s some pain and soreness. But I’m getting used to that. I think that’s going to be there for a while as it completely heals.”

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