When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired both Steve Nash and Dwight Howard last offseason, visions of pick-and-roll dominance danced through the heads of those that follow the NBA. Nash broke his leg in the second game of the year and both players dealt with several injuries, though, resulting in a nightmarish season for Los Angeles.
Nash missed the final month of the year with a strained right hamstring and he's still working to recover from that as the Lakers prepare for the upcoming season. The 39-year-old told Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press that he expects to be back to 100 percent in the very near future:
"I've had a really good summer of training and rehabilitating," Nash said. "I'm not 100 percent, but I'm pretty close. Good enough to go out there Tuesday. I'm thrilled I've had this time to build myself back up, and I believe I'll have a great year."
Nash is apparently healthy enough to participate in a tryout of sorts with European soccer club Inter Milan on Tuesday. Nash grew up playing soccer and is looking forward to the opportunity to lace up the cleats with one of the more famous soccer clubs in Europe.
In terms of the Lakers' outlook for next season, Nash is excited to see what they can do after losing Howard to the Houston Rockets. One of the major keys will be getting healthy:
"We're all just excited for another opportunity," Nash said. "We've got some terrific players coming off of difficult seasons. I know Pau Gasol after his injuries, Kobe's coming off a difficult injury, I was injured for the better part of the season. The three of us are eager to get back out there and there's other guys, Jordan Hill, Steve Blake, who missed a lot of time last year.
"We're excited to see what we can make of ourselves. We really are going to try for the second consecutive year to find chemistry and identity, but we're excited for it, so we'll see."
Nash went on to say that he expects Kobe Bryant to be back from an Achilles' tendon injury "in record time," too.
Bryant is reportedly ahead of schedule in his recovery and some believe he could be ready for the start of the season. However, the Lakers' star recently did an interview in Italy where he said he was shooting for a return in November or December.