“Being on the court this season has been my top priority and it is disappointing to not be able to do that right now,” said Nash in the prepared statement. “I work very hard to stay healthy and unfortunately my recent setback makes performing at full capacity difficult. I will continue to support my team during this period of rest, and will focus on my long-term health.”
The 40-year-old Nash experienced nerve damage in his back after an on-court collision with the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard two years ago. Despite his best efforts to overcome the injury through hard work, Nash has only been able to play just over a dozen games since. Nonetheless, the Lakers declined to waive his contract in September.
According to the statement, team medical staff and Nash have mutually agreed that he should take some time off to recuperate and rehabilitate. One year still remains on his guaranteed contract with the Lakers. As such, it’s his choice whether to stay on the team, take another shot at rehabilitation, or retire.