Last month, the Los Angeles Lakers and starting point guard Steve Nash made the smart decision to quit putzing around with Nash’s combined ankle, back and nerve injuries. They both decided to shut the future Hall of Famer down until he was healthy enough to rejoin the team for the long haul, and not for fitful bits and pieces of play here and there, interrupted by long stints on the bench and days off from practices and/or games.

Tuesday will mark the one-month anniversary of Nash’s last game with the team, and though fellow 30-something (for now for Steve, at least) Kobe Bryant returned to the lineup on Sunday, don’t expect Nash to hobble back in any time soon. Bryant’s Achilles tear could have been a career-killer, but at least Kobe had the benefit of orthodoxy on his side with his tear – you undergo surgery, it heals, you rehabilitate, you slowly work your way back like several other NBA players have in the past.

Nash’s combined back/ankle/nerve/femur frustrations are a little different. Toss in his age (39, for two more months) and years’ worth of long playoff trips, and you have a player that has no real historical influence to allow for a timetable for his unique situation. This is why Steve isn’t rushing back any time soon. From Mike Bresnahan at the Los Angeles Times:

"I don't know," the injury-riddled point guard said several hours before Kobe Bryant played against Toronto.

"I had three good days of practice and I could play right now, but we don't really have any confidence that it's sustainable. Instead of playing, missing a few weeks, playing, missing a few weeks … try to get to a place where I could play and sustain it. We don't know when that is right now."

As you’ll recall, though Nash has struggled with ankle and back injuries dating back to the Clinton Administration, this recent setback stemmed from a fractured leg suffered early in the Lakers’ (legally required to call it) ill-fated 2012-13 season. There’s no definitive proof that rest and rehab will eventually get the guy back to a position where he could peel off a healthy end to the season, which is ultra-depressing.

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