The Los Angeles Lakers have been struck by a further injury blow, with reports claiming that veteran point guard Steve Nash will be sidelined for at least two weeks.
39-year-old Nash - who is the oldest player currently active in the NBA - is a critical figure for the league's most-glamourous franchise, providing the crucial experience needed to guide a severely weakened Lakers roster through what promises to be a difficult 2013/14 campaign.
Kobe Bryant's long-term absence with the achilles tendon injury suffered in a clash against California rivals the Golden State Warriors towards the end of last season has only served to increase the pressure on Nash.
However, it looks as if the Canadian is set to join teammate Bryant for a spell on the sidelines, with reports cited by NBA.com confirming that Nash is suffering from painful nerve root irritation.
Sadly, such injury woes are nothing new for Nash. The former Phoenix Suns star - who was drafted with the 15th overall pick of the 1996 NBA draft - missed a large proportion of the Lakers' eventful 2012/13 campaign due to various niggles and ailments.
In his absence, the point guard duties are likely to be shared between role players Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks.
The Lakers, who lost All-Star center Dwight Howard this summer after he chose to join Kevin McHale's Houston Rockets, have begun the season in understandably inconsistent fashion.
Sunday night's 113-90 loss to the Kevin Love inspired Minnesota Timberwolves left them with a 3-5 record heading into Tuesday night's game against the New Orleans Pelicans.