A week after saying two-time MVP Steve Nash is done for the rest of the season, Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni went back on his words and told ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin that the return of the 40-year-old is still possible with approximately a month left in the season.
Nash has not played since Feb. 11. It was reported earlier in March that he was done for the season -- and possibly his career -- because of lingering nerve root irritation in his back and hamstrings. He has played in only 10 games this season, and the Lakers are poised to miss the playoffs this year.
Nash had said earlier this week that the question isn't whether he can still play at an NBA level but if he can sustain it:
"I feel pretty good. I feel as though I could play now at a good level. The question is could I sustain it?"
D'Antoni said on Wednesday that Nash's return is "still a possibility" depending on how he does in practice:
"It's still a possibility. We have to see where he is physically. ... We'll have to see some practices and see how it goes."
In his last game, a matchup with the Utah Jazz in February, Nash exited before halftime and did not return. At one point in November, it was rumored that Nash was considering mid-season retirement.
In his 10 games this season, the eight-time All-Star, currently the oldest active player in the league, is averaging 7.6 points and 4.7 assists, shooting 36 percent from the field and an even lower clip of 31 percent from three-point range. He is making $9.3 million this season and is slated to make $9.7 million next year.MAHONEY: Examining the five players with the best low-post repertoires in the NBA