Steve Nash is hoping to return to the Los Angeles Lakers lineup Tuesday in Cleveland. However, coach Mike D'Antoni told Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times that, “I wouldn’t put my reputation on it. It’s possible."
Nash has missed 18 games this season because of a small fracture in his fibula. D'Antoni said Nash's attitude is more upbeat as he gets closer to a return.
“I think so. I hope so,” D’Antoni said. “I want it so bad sometimes I think I’m seeing things that might not be there, so I don’t know. But obviously he’s doing more, but he’s got a ways to go yet.”
D'Antoni said he wants to see how Nash and Pau Gasol, who has missed four straight games with tendinitis, will play together before he makes any adjustments to the lineup.
“I’m not going to mess with Pau. He’s too important to the team and he’s earned it and he’s too good of a player to even go there yet. Said D'Antoni, alluding to the possibility Pau could come off the bench. "That would be a last-resort kind of [thing], desperate.”
Gasol will be evaluated before the Lakers begin their four-game road trip Tuesday in Cleveland, followed by New York on Thursday, Washington on Friday and Philadelphia on Sunday.