Lakers' Steve Nash hopes to play in Game 1

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash is champing at the bit to return for the playoffs, and he told reporters – including Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles – that he’s “very optimistic” he’ll be able to play during today’s opener against the San Antonio Spurs.

"Mentally, I'm champing at the bit and physically, I'm getting there," Nash said Friday after participating in a full practice for the first time since March, as he's missed the Lakers' past eight games with a right hip and hamstring injury. "So, I'm very optimistic that I'll be able to play on Sunday, and I just don't want to overpromise and get ahead of myself. The last three weeks now, I wake up every morning thinking, 'Today's the day,' and then I want to hang myself after practice. So, I don't want to overpromise at this point, but I'm very optimistic."

Nash has been hampered by right hip and hamstring injuries, which have sidelined him for the Lakers’ past eight games. Los Angeles is still considering Nash day to day, but it’s a good sign that he was able to return and practice fully Friday.

Steve Blake has stepped up in a big way in Nash’s absence, and he’s expected to continue seeing significant playing time regardless. Jodie Meeks has been the team’s No. 2 guard, but LA could instead use both Blake and Nash in the starting lineup once Nash returns.

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