The Los Angeles Lakers are 9-12 on the year. They have already fired one coach, and don’t seem to be enjoying too much success with his replacement. They have a superstar center who is due to become a free agent this summer, and if things keep going as badly as they have been thus far, may end up losing him to another club.
Really, the one and only thing that has prevented Los Angeles from descending into a bottomless pit of despair is the hope that Steve Nash, the team’s injured point guard, will return and save them. That could still happen (it won’t), but it definitely won’t happen for at least two weeks.
"I think it will be at least another two weeks," Steve Nash told USA Today when pressed on his return time. "I can move. I can shoot. I just can't run full speed. And I'm not even in shape. I'll probably need at least a week of practice once I start running."
Fantastic. And if you’re wondering why a fractured fibula that was supposed to heal about a month ago is still bothering Nash, the answer is quite simple: it’s not the fibula that is bothering him. According to Yahoo! Sports, he is actually out right now due to nerve irritation. Yes, it’s not the original injury that’s hampering him – it’s a setback that occurred during the healing process. A setback the Lakers forgot to tell us about.
Per Yahoo! Sports:
Steve Nash's delayed return to the Los Angeles Lakers has more to do with nerve irritation in his lower left leg than the fracture he suffered, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Nash appeared set to return from a non-displaced fractured left fibula about three to four weeks ago. His fibula has healed well, but what caused the setback was a nerve irritation that surfaced in the leg during his rehabilitation, sources said. The nerve caused Nash pain any time he put pressure on it.
The irritation is steadily improving for Nash and he is expected to play before the end of the month, sources said.
For what it’s worth, Nash is trying to keep hope alive.
"I hope I can make a difference," Nash told USA Today. "I think the team is close to doing well on their own. It's hard. It's like a second training camp. The guys haven't had a lot of time to practice under (coach Mike D'Antoni).
"We really haven't had a chance to play together in a new system, and we're trying to fight through that."
Look, the notion that Nash would save this team was always a pipe dream. He is a 38-year-old defensive liability that doesn’t even begin to address most of the problems with this group. Would he help? Sure. Maybe he’d get the Lakers to .500. But the reason they’re sucking right now is deeper than talent on the floor. And until someone puts their finger on what exactly is causing them to play so poorly, no single player will be able to change anything.