Nash, Nowitzki and others may return soon
by By Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
As early NBA storylines go, the one about the Western Conference team that is trying to stay afloat until its high-profile point guard gets back is hardly a secret.
But the languishing Lakers (9-12) aren’t the only ones hoping to have their season saved by a whirling-dervish talent. While the return the ailing Steve Nash (left leg) is still weeks away, the Minnesota Timberwolves (9-9) could welcome Ricky Rubio back as early as Wednesday night (a home game against Denver) after his eight-month recovery from a torn ACL and MCL that he suffered March 9. Rubio, the second-year player who had the T-Wolves in playoff contention and was a Rookie of the Year candidate last season before he went down, may also wait until Saturday’s home game against Dallas to make his debut. Minnesota plays at New Orleans on Friday, but it’s unlikely that he will return on the road.
His return and that of New Orleans rookie Anthony Davis (the top pick was set to return from an ankle injury on Tuesday night) and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving (who returned from a fractured finger on Tuesday) will be the latest in a long line of high-profile comebacks, with New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire (left knee), New Orleans shooting guard Eric Gordon (right knee), Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki (right knee), Brooklyn center Brook Lopez (right foot), Golden State center Andrew Bogut (left ankle), Chicago point guard Derrick Rose (ACL) and many others still to come. With so many surprises already this season – from the Lakers failures to the unexpected successes of teams like New York and Golden State and everything in between – it will add plenty of intrigue to the coming months in what has already been a compelling season.
Nash, who suffered a fracture in his left fibula but continues to have his return delayed by nerve pain relating to the injury, told USA Today Sports on Sunday that he would be out “at least another two weeks.” And while new Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni is confident Nash will be the badly-needed band-aid for what ails his team, his … [For more on Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki among those who could return soon, click here.]