Steve Nash, Frustrated by Injuries, Searching for Answers at New Stage of Career

LOS ANGELES — Steve Nash was found in the hallway not far from the Lakers’ locker room late Sunday night. A growing group of reporters had not yet gathered. And there was, unquestionably, fear in his eyes.

For a guy who has built one of the NBA’s greatest careers on his ability to see things before they develop, Nash has no idea what is going to happen to him now.

He tried to put on a braver face as more media members collected and cameras got switched on. Nash largely failed there too, as an uncharacteristic aura of defeat hung off him heavier than the gray sweater he wore.

Nash stumbled over the initial words: “I hesitate to even talk about it now because it's probably not a good time; I'm feeling a little emotional.”

Then he paused a full five seconds before continuing: “It’s hard. I really want to play, and I really want to play the way I'm accustomed to playing, and to be so limited is frustrating.”

Nash was reluctant to say publicly, but he suspects he has nerve damage running from his troublesome back to his left hamstring. He felt it coming on about a week ago but tried to persevere, contributing significantly to the Lakers’ deeply satisfying victory over Dwight Howard and the Rockets on Thursday night.

“It wasn’t bad enough against Houston not to play,” Nash said. The same sort of nerve problem from his back to his right hamstring and hip derailed the latter half of last season and left him pretty much stuck in neutral during the offseason.

Nash will learn more Monday after being examined by Robert Watkins, the doctor who repaired Howard’s herniated disk. It’s not nearly the first time Nash will be seeing the back specialist during his Lakers career. But it’s the first time the Lakers’ PR department has announced it, indicating the more formally serious nature of...

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