Already minus one former league MVP for their Western Conference quarterfinal series, the Los Angeles Lakers will likely have to make do without another one for Friday's pivotal Game 3 clash with the San Antonio Spurs.
The Lakers have termed Steve Nash as doubtful to play in Friday's matchup after he aggravated an existing hamstring injury during Wednesday's 102-91 loss to the Spurs that put Los Angeles in an 0-2 series hole.
In addition, guard Steve Blake will be sidelined indefinitely after an MRI taken Thursday revealed a moderate strain of his right hamstring. Guard Jodie Meeks, meanwhile, is expected to sit out a second straight game due an ankle sprain he sustained during Sunday's Game 1 loss in San Antonio.
Blake had started the first two tests of the series in place of Kobe Bryant, who suffered a season-ending Achilles' tear in the third-to-last game of the regular season. He tied for the team lead with 16 points in Wednesday's setback, but was forced to exit in the fourth quarter.
Nash had sat out Los Angeles' final eight regular-season contests with recurring hamstring problems related to preexisting nerve issues with the 39- year-old's back and hip. He managed to play 31 minutes in Game 2 but was noticeably hindered by the injury and struggled to guard counterpart Tony Parker as the San Antonio All-Star poured in 28 points in the Spurs' victory.
The Lakers revealed Nash received two epidural injections in his back on Thursday, as well as a cortisone shot in his ailing hip. The two-time NBA MVP's status beyond Game 3 has yet to be determined.