CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry knows Steve Nash wants to play despite his strained groin. Gentry said he probably wouldn't hesitate to play him if it were late in the season or the playoffs.
But Gentry is being cautious with the two-time league MVP point guard -- even if the Suns (6-6) are struggling.
Gentry announced after shootaround Saturday that Nash would miss his second straight game later that night against Charlotte. Nash will probably sit out Monday's game at Houston, too.
"I don't think I'm going to play him this whole trip," Gentry said. "It's not quite right and until we get back and we can get an adjustment and stuff, I don't feel like it's worth the risk."
Nash struggled while playing through the injury in Wednesday's loss to Miami and sat out Thursday's loss to Orlando, dropping the Suns to 9-18 since the 2004-05 season when Nash doesn't play.
Nash was getting treatment and didn't participate in Saturday's shootaround. He left the arena without speaking to reporters.
"He would play if I would let him. But I'm not going to," Gentry said. "I just don't think it make sense for us this early in the season. Then it nags and goes on where we can't get it right until after Christmas and the All-Star break or something like that. I just don't see any use in doing that."
It leaves a void in the backcourt for the inconsistent Suns. Goran Dragic will continue to start in his place. Gentry said he may take Hedo Turkoglu out earlier in games to put an extra ballhandler on the floor.
Nash is averaging a team-best 19.3 points and 8.9 assists.
"I think when we get back [to Phoenix] and he can have the whole thing adjusted and kind of work on it, I'll feel much better about it," Gentry said, "rather than stick him out there and have something go terribly wrong."