Steve Nash will be sidelined for at least week another week with a small fracture in his left leg.
A MRI exam taken on Saturday discovered the fracture in the point guard’s left leg the Los Angeles Lakers said. This another setback for the team since starting the season 0-3, the first time in 34 years.
Nash suffered the injury in a collision with Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night. The two-time NBA MVP banged legs with the Portland rookie in the second quarter and attempted to keep playing in the second half, but left the game in third quarter due to pain.
The 38-year-old said he was “hopeful” to play in the game against the Los Angeles Clippers Friday. Lakers coach Mike Brown said Nash had “made progress” in the days following the injury, but was unavailable and the Lakers went on to lose 105-95 to the Clippers.
Nash is the key to the Princeton-style offensive sets inserted by the Lakers this summer according to Brown. The star guard is still adjusting to the new offense, but has appeared uncomfortable at times along with other teammates running the offense during the preseason and regular season.
The Lakers have committed a total of 59 turnovers in their first three games, which included 20 against the Clippers.
”For us, I guess it’s been the same song the last couple of games,” Brown said Friday night. ”We played well in stretches, moved the ball well, moved our bodies well, we get great looks, and then we get bogged down by turnovers. … We gave ourselves 20 less opportunities to get a bucket. It negates everything else that you’ve done out there.”
Nash, a 17-year veteran, was traded to the Lakers by the Phoenix Suns in July after agreeing to a three-year, $27 million contract. He has been the facilitator for Kobe Byrant, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.
Nash was averaging 4.5 points on 33 percent shooting and 4.0 assists in 25 minutes before the injury, but the Lakers will turn to Steve Blake in his absence. Blake is averaging 5.0 points on 41.7 percent shooting and 3.7 assists in 26.7 minutes in the first three games.
Second-year player Darius Morris will also get some minutes to relieve Blake after solid play against the Clippers. He had seven points, one assist, one steal and two turnovers in 13 minutes.
“I thought he was responsible at times for the tempo of the game changing,” Brown said of Morris. “I thought his pressure when he picked up full court and working the basketball was big for us.”
Nash is set to be re-evaluated next weekend, but the Lakers will look to get their first win without him as host the 0-2 Detroit Pistons Sunday night.