Nash back at Lakers' practice, return imminent

Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash was a full participant in practice on Thursday for the first time since suffering a non-displaced fracture to his lower left leg on Oct. 31.

Nash has missed 24 games since sustaining the injury, and the Lakers have struggled without the two-time league MVP. During the slow start, the club fired head coach Mike Brown five games into the season and replaced him with Mike D'Antoni, who coached Nash in Phoenix during his MVP campaigns in 2004-05 and 2005-06.

The Lakers are currently 12-14 and are in action again on Saturday at Golden State prior to a Christmas Day clash with the Knicks.

Nash did not commit to a return date, saying it depends on how his body responds.

"We don't need to rush it," Nash said after practice. "The tendency is to want to come back as soon as possible, but I don't want to miss another 10 games because I aggravated something."

D'Antoni liked what he saw from the 38-year-old Nash on Thursday.

"He looked good, real good," D'Antoni said. "You never know how he wakes up. The first step was good and positive, he looks good on the floor, he said he felt good."

Chris Duhon and Darius Morris have both served as LA's starting point guard in Nash's absence and are averaging under six points and four assists per game. Nash's career numbers are 14.4 points and 8.6 assists per outing.