The Los Angeles Lakers are concerned about the health of point guard Steve Nash.
Nash, 39, is coming off a season in which he had a leg fracture and complications from his degenerative back condition. Until Thursday, he had not fully practiced this preseason.
Nash is averaging just 3.5 points and 3.5 assists in 16.7 minutes per game in the preseason, including missing a game.
“I’m a little bit concerned because I want him to be healthy, I want him to play,” teammate Pau Gasol told ESPN Los Angeles. “I want him to play and I want him to do well. I want him to help us. I hope that he can.”
Even though Nash made it through practice Thursday, coach Mike D’Antoni said he could be held out the Lakers’ preseason finale Friday night in Anaheim.
Nash acknowledged that he is not the player he used to be.
“It’s a different stage in my career,” he said. “I used to be able to get out, run up and down and feel like a world-beater every day, and now I have to try and get myself into some sort of form to try and execute for my team. It’s a different frame of mind. It’s a different challenge, but like I said, I’m up for it. I’m positive about it, I feel optimistic, I’m inspired by my teammates and I’m going to keep pushing through.”
At this point, it is more than a minutes issue. D’Antoni has said that Nash will sit out some games this season to get extra rest.