The positive vibes lasted all summer for Steve Nash, finally able to train and play basketball without nerve root irritation flare up in his back in unexpected moments. Unlike the past two years where he missed a combined 99 games because of root damage to his back and hamstrings, Nash practiced all summer unscathed.
Yet, Nash sounded well aware that his positive spirits and health may sour as quickly as one of his nifty no-look passes.
“It’s been such a bad run with that nerve that I don’t wan to make any forecasts,” Nash said. “I felt great this summer, but it’s a lot different working out in a gym on your own than it is pounding up and down every day. So there’s no guarantees. I’m just trying to enjoy every day for what I have and what I can give.”
The Lakers are cautiously optimistic about Nash after playing in five-on-five drills in recent weeks without any setbacks. Lakers coach Byron Scott does not plan to play Nash during the team’s four two-a-day sessions during training camp this week. Scott will also likely limit Nash’s minutes, including sitting out on the second night of back-to-backs, after averaging 6.8 points and 5.7 assists in 20.9 minutes through 15 games in the 2012-13 season.
“I’ve always kind of overdone it or tried to do too much,” Nash said. “That’s going to be a different perspective for me. I’ve got to pick my spots and give myself the best opportunity to sustain.”
Still, Nash sounds more optimistic simply since he moved ahead in his recovery faster than he fared last season. In the 2013 offseason, Nash spent most of his summer reducing the nerve damage in his back and hamstrings and did not start training until weeks into training camp. This past summer, Nash began training nearly immediately following the 2013-14 season.
“I was in a really really bad place last year during the winter and I was largely unaware of how bad I was until I got out of it,” Nash said. “But now I realize this is my last year and there’s no guarantees that I get to play any games this year, the truth is I have a lot of miles on my back, and a day or two into training camp it could all be done. I’m just trying to enjoy every moment, every day, keep building, do what I can to give myself a chance and with a little bit of luck I’ll get to play a ton this year and have a great close to my career.”
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