Nash won't miss time for nose surgery

Updated: May 24, 2010, 5:41 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

PHOENIX -- Suns guard Steve Nash will undergo surgery to repair a broken nose and displaced cartilage he suffered in Sunday night's conference finals win over the Lakers in Phoenix.

Nash practiced with the team Monday before leaving to have the nose put back in place. The Suns' ear, nose and throat physician, Dr. Ryan Rehl, was to perform the procedure.

Nash said he didn't expect it to be a problem in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

Nash I'm lucky. I've had a couple bumps or bruises that haven't affected my play. Those don't bother you. It's the ones that limit you that you hope you don't have to face.

-- Suns guard Steve Nash

Nash suffered the injury in a collision with Derek Fisher in the fourth quarter of the 118-109 victory, as the Suns cut the Lakers' series lead to 2-1.

Nash finished with 17 points and 15 assists in 38 minutes, scoring six points in the final three minutes. The 36-year-old could be seen on television trying to slide his nose back into place during the game.

"I was trying to move it while it was still fresh," he said. "I know that once it sets it's harder."

It's the second straight playoff series Nash has taken a significant blow to the face, after an elbow from Tim Duncan in the second-round finale of the Suns' sweep of the Spurs left him with a black and swollen-shut right eye.

"It seems to happen to him," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "He just shrugs his shoulders and moves on."

Nash said he had broken his nose "a handful" of times and wasn't planning to wear any protective gear or Manu Ginobili-style tape job on Tuesday, when the Suns host the Lakers again at 9 p.m. ET.

"I'm lucky. I've had a couple bumps or bruises that haven't affected my play," Nash said. "Those don't bother you. It's the ones that limit you that you hope you don't have to face."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson was asked if he thought the injury would affect Nash's performance.

"This guy's gone through a lot of stuff the last two or three years in the playoffs. I don't think it's going to bother him," Jackson said. "On second thought, Ginobili, it really curtailed his game. I thought his game really tailed off after the broken nose, so it's probably an individual thing."

Nash is Canadian, and he joked after his eye injury that his hockey-loving friends make fun of what a soft sport basketball is.

"I think we would have been surprised if he would have gone out of the game," Nash's teammate Grant Hill said. "He's fine. No Friday the 13th mask, no Rip Hamilton mask, no Ginobili tape. He'll be ready to go, so it wasn't that bad."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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