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Nash not likely to join Bryant on Sunday

12/6/2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Kobe Bryant is back. But what about Steve Nash?

Nash (nerve root irritation) traveled to Sacramento for the Los Angeles Lakers' game against the Kings, however he won't play Friday and is "doubtful" to play Sunday, according to coach Mike D'Antoni.

Nash, who has missed the Lakers' last 10 games because of discomfort in his back and hamstrings, said the team's three consecutive practices this week have helped him.

"I'm doing OK," Nash said. "Got a little bit better this week, or at least was able to get some practices in. It was positive. But I'm still not sure on a return."

Nash said he originally had hoped to play against the Kings after returning to L.A. following a week of training in Vancouver, British Columbia, but has pushed back that timeline.

"I think calmer heads kind of prevailed and thought let's not risk this kind of yo-yo season," Nash said. "Because that might be the case. I might not be able to play anymore. I might have to yo-yo it or I might be able to play the rest of the way. I think right now we want to see if I can play the rest of the way."

First thing's first, Nash is simply satisfied with being able to practice.

"I think the most important thing is I got through (the week)," Nash said. "That was kind of the baseline goal. Now it's a matter of seeing how much I can sustain or at least how much I can get through if then it becomes sustainable.

"I think what the idea is now is to not rush back and have a whole season where it's up and down. It's let's try to give this thing a chance to get some stability where I could try to play the better part of the season instead of trying to rush back the first sight of improvement and then it's back and forth all year."

After Sunday, the Lakers play at home Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns followed by a four-game road trip through Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Atlanta and Memphis starting Friday.

Nash, 39, lamented the struggles he has undergone since fracturing his leg in a freak collision with Portland's Damian Lillard in just his second game as a Laker last season.

"It's been just an obviously pretty horrible 13 months for me," Nash said. "It's really hard. It's been a really hard 12 months, 13 months and it's been in particularly even more hard the last six months, seven months since (the nerve issues) happened in April where I just could never quite get over the hump. It's been . . . It's a battle every day."

Nash is averaging 6.7 points and 4.8 assists while shooting 26.1 percent from the field in six games this season.

Chris Kaman, who has not played in six games (two because of back pain and the last four because of a coach's decision), did not participate in shootaround. D'Antoni said Kaman's back was "still messed up a little bit."