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Steve Nash Targeting Early February Return

Steve Nash is making sure he does everything possible to get his body right before returning to the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers.

"At some point, I have to also realize, do the safest thing, the best possible opportunity to play basketball again rather than letting my angst get the better of me and jumping back in there," Nash said after the Lakers' shootaround Friday. "I know I can get healthy. It's a matter of, 'Can I sustain it?' And I'm just trying to get that health under my belt for an amount of time where we feel confident that it can be sustainable is the tricky part, and that's probably going to take a little while longer than I was hoping."

Nash will return to Vancouver for the fourth time this season to undergo rehab with personal trainer Rick Celebrini.

Nash hopes to return during the first week of February.

Even if Nash can sustain his health this season, the Lakers could waive him using the stretch provision. The Lakers would be able to pay the remaining $9.7 million on his deal over a three-year period with only about $3.2 million counting against the cap annually.

"I don't know all the technical possibilities but obviously know that nothing is guaranteed," Nash said when asked about being a stretch provision candidate. "Obviously right now I have a guaranteed contract, but the future is totally in flux and anything is possible in the NBA and frankly with my health.

"I haven't proven to myself or anyone else that my body still has what I think it has in the tank. So I walk around feeling optimistic that I can do it, but I'm also reminded daily that I have to prove it."

Via Dave McMenamin/ESPN
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