NBA Rumors: Lakers’ Season Would Not Be Salvaged If Steve Nash Doesn’t Return

The Los Angeles Lakers' star-studded roster was supposed to compete for an NBA championship, but the franchise is skating on thinner ice each day that newly acquired point guard Steve Nash is not in the lineup.

Nash's return is vital to the Lakers picking up on the offensive scheme that new head coach Mike D'Antoni is installing. Without Nash, the Lakers can't salvage the 2012-13 season—and concerns about whether he will return to the court are heightening.

ESPN Los Angeles reporter Ramona Shelburne logged a wide-ranging summation of all the turbulence going on in LA, and noted particularly discouraging talk around the league about the 38-year-old Nash:

When people talk about Nash's return, every estimate begins with an "at least" and people around the league whisper that one more setback could cost Nash the rest of the season. For weeks, D'Antoni has been saying all this will make sense once Nash comes back.

...Twice now he has hinted that Nash might return, only to admit later that he was just hoping it might be so.

"I hate it," D'Antoni said after the loss in Cleveland. "I'm down. Right now we're all screwed up."

What has been keeping Nash down is a fracture to his left fibula suffered in the second game of the season. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! reports that Nash's slow return isn't due to the bone break, but rather to nerve irritation. The setback occurred during his rehabilitation, and causes Nash pain whenever he puts pressure on the leg.

Even though the bone has healed well, Nash is still not cleared to practice and is likely to return at the end of the month, according to Spears' sources.

After another loss to the New York Knicks on Thursday night—D'Antoni's most recent coaching stint outside of LA—the Lakers are reeling on a four-game losing streak, desperately searching for answers without their floor general.

Despite the best...

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