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Lakers' Steve Nash angling for playoff return

Friday - 4/19/2013, 6:05pm  ET

Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol, left, of Spain, Dwight Howard, center, and Steve Nash celebrate their team's 99-95 overtime win against the Houston Rockets after an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Wednesday, April 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

AP Sports Writer

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Steve Nash is hoping to return to the Los Angeles Lakers' lineup in time for their playoff opener.

Nash practiced with the Lakers on Friday at their training complex, going through half-court offensive drills and testing his injured right hamstring. The two-time NBA MVP missed Los Angeles' final eight games of the regular season with the latest injury in a season full of setbacks.

After getting recent epidural injections, Nash says he's very optimistic he'll return Sunday when the seventh-seeded Lakers open against San Antonio.

Nash shares his teammates' optimism about the postseason after the talented Lakers survived a tumultuous regular season. Although Kobe Bryant is out for the season, Nash believes the remaining Lakers can make a significant playoff run.

Nash could start alongside his backup, Steve Blake.

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