Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash denied rumors that he plans to retire at the end of the season.
While he does not know when he will return from a back injury that sidelined him two weeks ago, he told the Los Angeles Times on Friday that he will play out his contract, which lasts two more seasons.
"No, not at all," Nash said when asked if he is ending his career at the end of this season. "I don't know where that came from.
"For me, I realize I have about 18 months left of basketball and I want the most out of this that I can possibly get and I don't know if that's going to be one game or the vast majority of what's left, but I have a long life without basketball, so I don't want to give in too soon. I want to try to make the most of this opportunity to play if I can."
Nash was taken out of the Lakers' Nov. 10 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves because of irritated nerves in his back that affected mobility in his left hamstring. He has been undergoing physical therapy and received an epidural injection.
Nash, 39, could return to practice next week when the team returns from its road trip.
"I can get back to health; it's just how sustainable is it with all the unpredictable forces and demands on my back?" Nash said. "I want to make sure that I'm not racing to get back but really solve this problem as well as I can so I can sustain it whenever I do come back."
Nash was limited last season after sustaining a broken left leg. He has also been bothered recently with ankle and neck problems.