Steve Nash returning for the Lakers on Friday

By Royce Young | NBA writer

Is Nash close to being done in his NBA career? (USATSI)
Steve Nash back. (USATSI)

Steve Nash's season appeared to be over. But the 40-year-old point guard isn't done yet.

Nash had been ruled out a couple weeks ago for the rest of the season because of a nerve root irritation, but said after shootaround on Friday he's ready to play against the Wizards.

"I'm excited," Nash told reporters. "Unfortunately I don't really know where I am because I haven't really been up and down or played or scrimmaged in five weeks, but I've tried to keep myself afloat in case the opportunity came up. I'm just going to try to get through it the best I can, contribute and not get hurt."

Nash will come off the bench for the first time in his career since the 1999-2000 season.

"I don't know how much I'll play, but I'm available and if I can just help out of the bullpen, it will be fun for me," Nash said. "Hopefully I can just help a little bit."

D'Antoni told reporters Nash would likely play between 10-12 minutes.

Battling injuries, Nash has only appeared in 10 games this season. He's averaged 7.6 points (31.6 percent shooting) and 4.7 assists.

Nash, who is owed $9.7 million next season by the Lakers has been, has found some criticism from fans for not retiring. But he still feels he can play. If healthy, of course.

"I think anyone who has some sort of critical thinking ability looks at the situation and goes, 'Who wouldn't?'" Nash said. "It is a contract and we fight [as a player's union] every 5-6-7-8 years to hold on to guaranteed contracts in our business. I came in here with the highest of hopes, broke my leg playing here and I think people respect the fact that that's honest and anyone who says they wouldn't do that probably is not trustworthy."

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