Steve Nash is listed as “doubtful” to face the Clippers on Friday night after suffering a lower leg contusion at Portland on Halloween, but he didn’t rule himself out entirely.
“We’ll see how it goes, see how it calms down some more, but I couldn’t tell from this point,” he said after Thursday’s practice. “Maybe I’m too optimistic to say ‘doubtful,’ but it’s definitely tough.”
It was the second time in two weeks a young point guard collided with Nash in the backcourt. On Oct. 21, Kings rookie Isaiah Thomas stepped on Nash’s ankle, but the Canadian bounced back to return to practice the next day. At Portland 10 days later, rookie Damien Lillard accidentally drove his knee into Nash’s lower leg in the second quarter, causing the contusion.
Fortunately for Nash and the Lakers, it’s nothing worse than a painful bruise.
“Luckily it’s not any major structurally or something,” said the two-time MVP. “It’s just a contusion in that area.”
After emerging from the visitor’s locker room at the Rose Garden with a yellow protective sleeve over his lower leg, Nash gave it a go to start the third quarter, but he lasted just over a minute, unable to move laterally.
“By the time I got off the training table, there was almost no time on the clock to warm up, so I ran out there and took a couple shots,” he explained. “But I didn’t have time to test it laterally and as soon as I tried to make a lateral movement, it just gave out on me. I thought I was going to be able to finish the game, but it just wasn’t ready last night.”
He’s more frustrated than anything else.
“To take a knock like that, this time you want to be out there fighting and trying to scrape a win,” he concluded. “It’s frustrating, but sometimes you need to take a deep breath and think the big picture, and play with the hand you’re dealt.”
Nash will be re-evaluated on a daily basis as he and the training staff try to determine when he can get back on the court.
UPDATE FROM SHOOTAROUND:
Mike Brown answered a few questions about Nash’s status after Friday’s shootaround, calling him a “game time decision” but suggesting the point guard was a long shot to play.
“It doesn’t look good, but (the training staff) hasn’t ruled him out yet,” he said.