Steve Nash will miss the Los Angeles Lakers' final regular season game, a Wednesday tilt against the Houston Rockets, after an MRI confirmed "several preexisting issues" related to his hip and back injury, according to a team release.
Nash received an epidural to ease the pain, and the team believes he'll be ready to return in "several days." Theoretically, that means he will be able to return for the playoffs should the Lakers reach the postseason.
Having missed the last seven full games, the 39-year-old point guard has dealt with the back and hip issue since his days with the Dallas Mavericks. Nerve irritation causes pain and weakness in his hamstring, hence the long list of ailments.
The Lakers will host the Rockets at the Staples Center with destiny in their own hands and Steve Blake starting in Nash's place. Los Angeles can secure a postseason berth with a win, but risks the Utah Jazz overtaking them for the final playoff slot with a loss combined with a Jazz victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Blake has contributed heavily for the Lakers, who have won four straight games. On Sunday, he scored 23 points and recorded four assists as Los Angeles beat the San Antonio Spurs, 91-86.