The Los Angeles Lakers - who are fast becoming the NBA's unluckiest franchise this season - have been dealt a further injury blow after Steve Nash was forced to exit Sunday night's 92-86 defeat to the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center.
Nash, who turned 40 on Friday and is currently the oldest player in the league, has missed most of the season with nerve irritation and only made his comeback against the Minnesota Timberwolves on February 4.
However, despite providing a timely reminder of his abilities with a number of flash assists for Mike D'Antoni's crew, it looks as if he could be missing once again after he was pulled midway through the third quarter against the Bulls because of more irritation in his left leg.
Nash himself, who was brought to the Lakers from Phoenix in 2012, appears to have given fans hope, however, with the Canadian hopeful of a swift return from this latest setback.
"I just took a knee to the spot where I broke my leg," Nash was quoted by ESPN.
"Ever since I did that I've had a lot of nerve issues there and it just really flared up on me. I don't think it's going to be a long-term thing at all. Hopefully it's something that can just settle down this week, hopefully by Tuesday."
D'Antoni will be desperate to have Nash back on the court on a full-time basis, especially given the multitude of other injuries he has had to deal with already this season.
As well as being without his eight-time All-Star floor general, D'Antoni has also been without the services of Kobe Bryant, Jodie Meeks, Jordan Farmar, Nick Young, Jordan Hill and Pau Gasol recently.
The Lakers, who face the Utah Jazz in LA on Tuesday night, currently sit 14th in the Western Conference with a record of 18-33.
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