Lakers News: Latest on Steve Nash's Injury Following LA's Win vs. Kings

Ryan DavenportContributor IMarch 31, 2013

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 18:  Steve Nash #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Steve Blake #5 during the first half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on March 18, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Lakers 99-76.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As has been the case for much of this year, the Los Angeles Lakers lineup may be missing one of its most important pieces during a critical part of the season. 

That's because during Los Angeles' 103-98 victory over Sacramento, Steve Nash left the game early after re-injuring his hamstring during the first quarter. 

Nash, who has been plagued by hamstring and hip injuries lately, checked out of the game less than two minutes in and did not return. 

Now, Nash's timetable is unknown, but there's still a possibility that he'll be ready to go in time for the Lakers' all-important game against Dallas on Tuesday, according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears:

In Nash's absence, Blake stepped up and knocked down 5-of-9 from behind the arc, but the Lakers could be in trouble down the stretch if Nash is unable to return soon. 

At least for the time being, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard shouldered the offensive load, and Bryant assumed the role of playmaker, dishing out 14 dimes after Nash left the floor. 

Following Saturday night's win over Sacramento, the Lakers are currently tied for the eighth and final postseason berth in the Western Conference, but Utah holds the tiebreaker, so the Lakers, as of now, are on the outside looking in. 

This week, the team's postseason fate could be determined early if the Lakers can't take at least three of their next four, which will be played within a seven-day span starting on Tuesday. 

And Nash, who had been improving as of late, is obviously a key player in the Lakers' postseason hopes, so if he's out for any considerable length of time, L.A.'s playoff hopes will become that much more remote. 

For now, Blake and Bryant will have to pick up the slack until Nash returns, but whether they can do that for long enough to get the Lakers back into the playoff picture before it's too late remains to be seen. 

The Lakers need Nash back on the court, but unless the severity of his hamstring injury is revealed, we probably won't have a realistic idea of when exactly he'll be ready to go at full strength.