Lakers guard Nash out for "at least another week"
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash will be sidelined for "at least another week" because of a small fracture in his left leg, the National Basketball Association team said on Friday.
The twice former Most Valuable Player has missed seven games, including Friday's 114-102 win over his former team the Phoenix Suns, since suffering the injury against the Portland Trail Blazers on October 31.
The 38-year-old Nash was examined by a Lakers team doctor earlier on Friday and will be re-evaluated next weekend, the Lakers said in a statement.
A magnetic resonance imaging examination on November 3 showed a small non-displaced fracture in the head of his fibula, the team said.
Since Nash was sidelined, Los Angeles stumbled to a dismal 1-4 start to the season, sacked their coach Mike Brown and then improved their record to 4-5 under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff.
However, newly appointed head coach Mike D'Antoni is expected to take over from Bickerstaff for Sunday's home game against the Houston Rockets.
"We're not there yet but we can be a pretty damn good basketball team," Bickerstaff told reporters after the Lakers completed a rousing win over the Suns, who were previously coached by D'Antoni.
"The repetition that's needed in those things that he (D'Antoni) has implemented will get us better. I don't know how we can turn the corner without that lineup with Steve Nash there, so now you got to integrate him into the system."
Nash was acquired by the Lakers in a trade with the Phoenix Suns during the offseason and his presence along with former Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard had been expected to make the Lakers one of the NBA's top title prospects.
The eight-time All-Star was averaging 4.5 points and 4.0 assists this season.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by John O'Brien)