Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash is set to return to the lineup on Saturday against the Golden State Warriors after being out since the first week of the season with a fracture in his left leg that turned into nerve damage during rehab.
According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Nash will practice with the team this week and if all goes well, he will play on Saturday in a road game against the Warriors. The team has three days off after its home game on Tuesday against the Charlotte Bobcats, and Nash will spend the time doing light workouts to build up to his targeted return of Saturday.
The Lakers have been without Nash since the first week of the season and have also played without backup Steve Blake. The team has struggled with its depleted backcourt, posting an 11-14 record leading up to Tuesday’s game matchup against the B0bcats.
The pressure will be on for Nash and Pau Gasol to prove that they can play together. Gasol will likely return to the team on Tuesday after missing several games with knee tendinitis. The Lakers have reportedly turned down trade offers for the Spaniard because team management promised Nash when they signed him that he would be given the opportunity to play with Gasol. But players that switched teams this summer became trade-eligible Dec. 15 so there could be a number of teams that start placing calls into the Lakers front office. The Lakers reportedly have an interest in acquiring Jose Calderon or Delonte West, according to Marc Stein of ESPN, which could put pressure on the team to further explore trades involving Gasol if things don’t mesh well once Nash is back.