As he remains sidelined for at least the next two weeks because of persisting nerve pain in his back, Lakers guard Steve Nash won’t travel with the team Wednesday for their second night of a back-to-back against the Denver Nuggets.
Nash is scheduled to receive an epidural shot today in hopes of nulling the pain in his back. He had three of those last season while he had lingering issues with his right hamstring and back, but they produced minimal results. Nash missed eight games, including two postseason appearances because of those ailments.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni also said Nash will rest at least “for a couple of days” before beginning his unspecified rehab. According to the Lakers’ timetable, Nash will miss at least the next six games including stints against New Orleans (tonight), in Denver (Wednesday), Memphis (Friday), Detroit (Sunday) and Golden State (Nov. 22). The Lakers plan to reevaluate Nash in about 10 days.
“The thing I know for sure is he will work as hard as he can. You never know about injuries. You never know about age. You never know about a lot of things. SO you don’t know. But I know he’ll work as hard as he can to get ready and so we’re hoping. Nothing is written in stone.”
Nash has already battled various ailments this season, including a sprained left ankle, a stiff neck and pain in his quads. He also missed a combined 32 games last season because of a fractured leg leg and the aforementioned back and hamstring issues.
“We knew at the beginning of the year it was going to be tough getting Steve back after a long layoff,” D’Antoni said. “We knew at first there would be some ups and downs. But our focus is stay focused, get the energy right, win as many as we can and get the guys healthy and see what we can do.”
During Nash’s absence, Jodie Meeks will start at shooting guard while Steve Blake slides over at small forward.
“A lot of guys have to step up,” D’Antoni said. “We haven’t played as well as we should have. We’ve had glimpses of good games and then we’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit. We’ll be good.”
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