The Orange County Register’s Kevin Ding has recently reported that forward Pau Gasol is over a week away from his return.
Gasol reported on his Twitcam video chat Thursday that he ran for the first time in his recovery from the torn plantar fascia in his right foot. Gasol used the Lakers’ Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill to run at 65 percent of his body weight and reported that “discomfort was minimal… Very encouraging.”
The plan for the Lakers is to gradually bring Gasol along. If he is able to continue the workouts and rehabilitation without any setbacks they hope to have him running on the court by next week. This does not include basketball related activities or anything of the sort but it is safe to say he is at least two weeks away from beginning them.
Thus far, the Lakers have been able to manage without Gasol this season. The first came with the emergence of Earl Clark in January while the second, and current, stint has been the revolution of Kobe Bryant as he is playing the best basketball of his career. It would only help for Gasol to come back at full strength as soon as possible to aid the Lakers in their playoff race. However, with the playoffs in mind, it would be more beneficial for Gasol to prepare for a serious playoff run than to rush back and succumb to another injury.
One question that has remained unanswered with Gasol out of the lineup is who will start for the team upon his return. Originally in January, coach Mike D’Antoni had the difficult choice of either inserting Gasol back into the starting lineup or keep the surging Earl Clark in it. With a similar situation upon the horizon, D’Antoni is waiting until the Lakers get to there to answer that question.
Asked about it Friday, D’Antoni smiled and said: “We don’t have to go there yet, do we?”
In case you missed it, here’s our interview with Sam Amick of USA Today talking about Dwight Howard;