Steve Nash has suffered a contusion in his lower left leg during the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers, Lakers reporter Mike Trudell has confirmed. Despite efforts to come out and play on the wrapped leg after halftime, Nash was clearly limping while on the court, and the Los Angeles Lakers quickly swept him off the floor and inserted Steve Blake to take over Nash's share of minutes for the night as Gary Vitti and the Lakers training staff evaluate one of the two prizes of their off-season.
Health has been a concern for the Lakers, ranging from bringing Dwight Howard back into game shape (which he still appears to be far from), to fighting flat out oddities such as Steve Blake stepping on parking lot spikes. It's just been that kind of start for the Lakers. The injury bug has now hit Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Jordan Hill, Steve Blake, and Earl Clark (yes he's on the team everybody). With Blake slated as the second point guard on the depth chart, the Lakers will need to play this cautiously. On one hand, they definitely want to have Steve Nash, their floor general, out on the floor as much as possible to help the team find an identity (aside from the turnover machine they've been thus far). On the other hand, managing the injury and not letting it become a detriment throughout the season is even more important. This is game 81 of 82, there is a whole 'lotta basketball to be played still. Patience is a virtue, everyone.
After the game, Trudell proceeded to give a small update on Nash, stating that the Lakers will evaluate the contusion tomorrow. Meanwhile, Kevin Ding quoted Steve Nash as being "hopeful" to play against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. We'll keep everyone posted as soon as more information comes in.