(Reuters) – Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash has been officially ruled out for the rest of the season, according to a report on the National Basketball Association’s website on Thursday.
The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player played in 10 of the struggling Lakers’ 64 games this season because of a nerve problem in his back.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni closed the door on any chance of the 40-year-old Canadian returning for the last 18 games of what has been a disappointing season for the storied franchise.
“He’s not going to play,” said D’Antoni, whose Lakers are in second-last place in the 15-team Western Conference with a 22-42 record.
Nash’s last game was in early February when he played nearly 17 minutes against the Utah Jazz before sitting out the second half. He had two points and two assists in the game.
The point guard joined the Lakers ahead of the 2012-13 NBA season, part of a core group that was being counted on to return the franchise to its previous glory.
The news comes one day after the Lakers said hobbled five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant was being shut down for the season.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford)