Steve Nash participated fully in today's practice for the first time since fracturing his fibula back on October 31, the second game of the season. Nash, the 17-year point guard, played in the 5-on-5-contact scrimmage during Thursday afternoon's practice. When asked after practice if he would play in Saturday night's game against Golden State, Nash replied
"Potentially, It depends how well I respond today and then tomorrow again. We'll see how I go on Saturday when I wake up. We'll see. We don't really need to rush it. It's something where I don't want to come back to soon, although that's the tendency is to want to come back as soon as possible, but I don't want to miss another 10 games and aggravate it or something".
Nash said that he is in pain but that won't prevent him from returning to the floor. He's going to feel pain until he gets back into game-shape and can run and cut confidently. For serious leg injuries like the one Nash sustained, the mental aspect is just as, if not more, important as the physical aspect. If he doesn't trust the strength and stability of his leg, he won't be effective in the D'Antoni offense, especially since it is an up-tempo offense.
Nash is scheduled to participate in Friday' practice so the way his leg feels when he wakes up on Saturday will speak volumes after practicing hard back-to-back days. Nash could possibly play Saturday, but he said that a return to the court for the Lakers' Christmas Day matchup with the New York Knicks is more "realistic". Even if Nash feels healthy enough to play on Saturday, the Lakers coaching staff should keep him on the bench. The Warriors are loaded with young and athletic guards, including Steph Curry, Jarrett Jack, and Klay Thompson, so forcing Nash back early won't help the Lakers much offensively, much less defensively. A return on Christmas Day is a perfect matchup for Nash, against the 39-year-old Jason Kidd.
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