The great illustrious career of Steve Nash is surely over.

The Los Angeles Lakers have confirmed that the two-time NBA MVP will not play this season due to a recurring back injury. Bar an unexpected turn, it is unlikely we will see the point guard – who turns 41 in February – back on a court following two years of cameo appearances as his body finally broke down.

It is an expensive blow for the Lakers who will have to pay him around £6 million for no more than glad handing with the team announcing in a statement that “after consultations with Lakers medical staff, both Nash and the organisation believe it is best to focus on rest and rehabilitation at this time.”

Having toiled to the extreme to return to action, the Canadian – whose parents hail from the UK – managed just one full pre-season contest before hurting his back again while carrying luggage.

“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. “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.”

It gives the already-troubled Lakers one more headache in what is expected now to be a further rebuilding season despite the restoration to health of Kobe Bryant. Their roster, as it stands, figures to get nowhere near the Western Conference top eight.

“As disappointed as we are for ourselves and our fans, we’re even more disappointed for Steve,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“We know how hard he’s worked the last two years to try to get his body right for the rigors of the NBA, and how badly he wants to play, but unfortunately he simply hasn’t been able to get there up to this point in time. Steve has been a consummate professional, and we greatly appreciate his efforts.”

Nash, whose contract ends next summer, could still be traded. He may formally retire before then, having played only 65 games in LA since arriving in a trade with the Phoenix Suns in 2012.

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