Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash is hopeful that he can play in Game 1 of the opening round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, after undergoing two epidural injections in his lower back earlier in the week. Nash missed the final eight games of the regular season due to hip soreness and a strained right hamstring, and after an MRI confirmed he was suffering from "several preexisting issues related to his hip and back," Nash sought the injections on Tuesday, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said the veteran point guard has gone through a "limited workout," but Nash revealed that he's not quite up to speed yet (via Yahoo! Sports):
"It really depends on whether the two epidurals work," Nash said. "If they kick in, I have a good chance to play."
..."I haven't been able to run yet," said Nash, who would be matched up with speedy Spurs point guard Tony Parker. "I can jog and go three-quarter speed. I can't sprint. You got to be able to run to play in an NBA game. If the drugs work, I can be running by two or three days. It depends on the drugs.
"When I can play, I'll play, no question. It's not even a matter of getting to 100 percent. If I can play, I'll play. I can't just play yet, unfortunately. It's tough."
Kupchak noted that the decision will be up to Nash for when he returns.
As Spears noted in his piece, the Lakers are 19-13 without Nash this season, and they finished the year on a 7-1 run to grab the No. 7 seed. However, with Kobe Bryant out due to a ruptured Achilles the team will need more offensive production and play making to come from the point guard position.
This year Nash has averaged 12.7 points on 60.5 percent true shooting and 6.7 assists in 32.5 minutes per game over 50 contests. L.A. has struggled to stop opposing point guard for most of the season, but if Nash can play it might help offset the production from Tony Parker.