NBA: Nash out with back pain, Sanders gone for six weeks

NBA: Nash out with back pain, Sanders gone for six weeks

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash will undergo an epidural Tuesday to ease the pain of a chronic back injury and be sidelined about two weeks, his team said Monday.

The news came as the Milwaukee Bucks revealed a key loss of their own, with centre Larry Sanders to miss six weeks after surgery Monday to repair a torn right thumb ligament.

Nash, a 39-year-old Canadian who twice won the NBA Most Valuable Player award for a season, sat out the entire second half of the Lakers' 113-90 loss Saturday to Minnesota on Saturday. He spent Monday with a doctor, who diagnosed him with nerve root irritation.

Nash, who will not be reevaluated for another 10 days, played only 50 games last season for the Lakers because of nagging hamstring issues related to his back nerve issues.

Nash has averaged only 6.7 points and 4.8 assists in six games this season, making a career-low 26.1 per cent of his shots from the field.

Sanders has not played for 10 days after signing a US$44 million (S$55 million) contract extension with Milwaukee before the season began.

Sanders averaged career-bests of 9.8 points and 9.5 rebounds, and 2.8 blocked shots a game last season. He was averaging just 2.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 17 minutes per game prior to the injury.

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