An MRI exam confirmed that Lakers guard Steve Nash has what the team called “several preexisting issues” related his injured right hip and hamstring, which will sit him out in the Lakers’ season finale Wednesday against the Houston Rockets and perhaps beyond.
The Lakers said they are “hopeful” Nash will return within “the next several days.” Nash, who has missed the past six games because of this injury, said last week that he nerve issues to the pain in his hamstring, something else the Lakers say MRI confirmed. They also said Nash received an epidural injection Tuesday morning to minimize the pain.
“He’s working through some issues,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni of Nash. “Hopefully if there’s anything after tomorrow then he might be ready — hopefully he’ll be ready.”
Nash said he has felt soreness in his right hip and hamstring ever since the Lakers’ loss March 28 against the Milwaukee Bucks. He played the next game March 30 against the Sacramento Kings, but lasted only two minutes. Nash has remained sidelined since then.
The Lakers said in a statement that nerve irritation has contributed to the pain in Nash’s right hamstring, something he acknowledged last week.
The Lakers (44-37) enter Wednesday’s game against the Rockets (45-36) with a one-game lead over the Utah Jazz (44-38) for the Western Conference’s eighth playoff spot. A Lakers loss and a Utah win Wednesday against Memphis would knock the Lakers out of the playoffs. If Utah loses and the Lakers win, they would finish in seventh place and have a first-round matchup against the San Antonio Spurs. If the Lakers finish in eighth place, they would face Oklahoma City.
Although the NBA hasn’t released its playoff schedule, it’s likely the Lakers would begin Game 1 of their possible first-rouund matchup in San Antonio or Oklahoma City on Sunday. That would give Nash five days from now to recover.
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