Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Steve Nash is still about two weeks away from returning to the Lakers.
Nash, still recovering from a small fracture in his fibula is progressing with his rehab, but is still not ready to join the team, according to David Leon Moore of USA Today:
D’Antoni speculated Sunday that Nash might return at some point on the upcoming road trip but Nash told USA TODAY Sports that won’t happen.
“I think it will be at least another two weeks,” Nash said. “I can move. I can shoot. I just can’t run full speed. And I’m not even in shape. I’ll probably need at least a week of practice once I start running.”
If this timeline sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Nash has seemingly been about two weeks away for several weeks now, with each update given regarding his playing status seemingly defaulting to this generic timeline.
While Lakers’ fans express their frustration surrounding Nash’s delayed return, it seems there’s some clarity as to why his recovery is taking as long as it is. Mark Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that it’s not that the fracture hasn’t healed, but that Nash has still been feeling pain due to nerve irritation in his leg:
Steve Nash’s delayed return to the Los Angeles Lakers has more to do with nerve irritation in his lower left leg than the fracture he suffered, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Nash appeared set to return from a non-displaced fractured left fibula about three to four weeks ago. His fibula has healed well, but what caused the setback was a nerve irritation that surfaced in the leg during his rehabilitation, sources said. The nerve caused Nash pain any time he put pressure on it.
Well, that doesn’t sound good at all.
The good news is that Nash has begun to ramp up his rehab. He’s doing more conditioning work and before every game he’s doing ball handling and shooting drills. So, while he’s not yet practicing, the hope is that he’s getting closer to returning and that he’ll be able to play soon after he’s cleared.
His familiarity with Mike D’Antoni’s system should also aid in a quick return once he’s cleared medically. And while there will be more adjustments by he and his teammates to playing together in this system (rather than Mike Brown’s), the fact that Nash knows the ins and outs of the Lakers’ scheme will be helpful.
Of course that won’t fully be known to be true until Nash is back on the court. Which won’t be for another two weeks. At least.