Update (1:55 p.m. ET, Friday): The Lakers officially announced that Steve Nash will return to play Friday night against the Washington Wizards.
The Los Angeles Lakers have begun to rethink shutting down Steve Nash for the season because of his continued back issues, and the point guard even went through a full practice on Thursday, according to ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin.
Just more than a week ago, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said that Nash wouldn't return for the stretch run of the season, but it appears that the 40-year-old hasn't given up hope he can get back into playing form. McMenamin reported on Thursday night that D'Antoni stepped away from his earlier guess that Nash wouldn't be back.
"We'll have to see," D'Antoni said. "Again, we're just trying to get him totally healthy. You just don't want to send him out there and play him when he's not healthy. We got to look and see and maybe try it in a couple practices and see if he can get 100 percent healthy, but right now he's not there."
The issue hasn't been Nash feeling ready to go -- he has -- but the point guard maintaining form. It's been an extremely difficult grind for Nash to keep his back and nerve issues in check.
Nash and Grantland.com explored his future with the Lakers in Episode 2 of the mini-documentary covering the point guard's struggles this season. In it, Nash attacks the chance that Los Angeles uses the stretch provision to buy him out and effectively end his tenure with the team -- and likely his career.
At 22-45 and now looking at the lottery, the Lakers aren't necessarily in need of a point guard, even though they're down to just one healthy lead guard in Kendall Marshall.
Nash has played in just 10 games this season and is averaging 7.6 points and 4.7 assists in 22.5 minutes per game.