Steve Nash was back at Los Angeles Lakers practice on Thursday, but his return date for actual game action remained up in the air.
“I don’t think tomorrow is a possibility,” Nash said at Thursday’s practice. “Hopefully, I can play next week. A couple more days of practice will be, I think, crucial for me.”
Nash was staying positive about his return, but he could not help but talk about the painful experience constantly dealing with various injuries: hamstring, back, neck and everything else that stems from the broken leg and an aging NBA body.
“It’s been the hardest thing I’ve faced in my career,” Nash admitted. “Ever since I broke my leg, nothing’s been the same. Nothing’s been easy.”
However, Nash has worked hard to get to this point, and his return to practice has defied the odds in many people’s eyes.
“I also look for challenges in life. So, this is a great opportunity for me for me to learn about myself and try to fight through it," Nash said. "Hopefully, on the other side, I’ll be a better person.”
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said the 39-year-old looked good on Thursday but confirmed that the Canadian would not play on Friday against the Charlotte Bobcats.
“We’re trying to be as cautious as we can--without being crazy,” D’Antoni explained.
Nash said his most recent trip to Vancouver helped him improve in terms of getting up and down the floor and withstanding the unpredictable motions involved with playing against other players. He said that he was unable to confidently perform those functions two weeks earlier.
“I did everything,” Nash said about Thursday’s practice. “All along, we’ve been targeting next week.”
Similar to Kobe Bryant, Nash said that his "job is to play basketball,” so he does not intend on sitting out, regardless of the team’s record.
“I came to LA with nothing but the highest of hopes and expectations, and it’s been nothing but personal disappointment,” Nash added.
Being a competitor and one of the greatest point guards of all time, Nash is attempting one final comeback to make things right. Nash is determined to beat the odds, and his return to a live game appears to be lining up with his 40th birthday, which is on Feb. 7.
After 40 years, Nash’s body is on its last athletic legs, but his competitive fire remains ageless.