Pau Gasol has been suffering from vertigo since the Lakers win against the Orlando Magic on March 23. Since being diagnosed, Gasol made an appearance Tuesday night when the Lakers lost to the Portland Trail Blazers, but sat out Wednesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings when symptoms reoccured.
Gasol’s battle with vertigo could keep him sidelined for the rest of the season, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
The team is leaning toward sitting him for its final seven games while he recovers from a severe recurrence of vertigo.
He won’t play Friday against Dallas after dizziness kept him confined at the team hotel Wednesday while the Lakers played Sacramento. He flew back on the team charter that night after missing a fifth game because of the illness.
Injuries and health issues are nothing new for the Lakers this season. Gasol has been the Lakers’ leading scorer with a 17.4 points per game average while Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash deal with their injuries. The lack of healthy bodies for the Lakers have been a primary reason why the team has struggled to secure wins this year.
The Lakers have seven games remaining this season, but do not have much to play for instead of ruining other teams’ playoff chances. There is no rush or immediate need for Gasol in the lineup. While Gasol was out, Chris Kaman started in his place and scored 28 points twice. When Gasol returned against Portland, he joined Kaman in the starting frontcourt. Although he admitted he would like to play more minutes besides Kaman, the two struggled when sharing the court.
Gasol will be an unrestricted free agent in the off-season and could have played his last game as a Laker on Tuesday. If Gasol doesn’t return to the Lakers, the lone center on the roster will be Robert Sacre. The Lakers will also have a lottery pick in the draft and ample cap space to fill the void if necessary.
Pau Gasol Struggling From Vertigo, Talks Inefficiencies Alongside Chris Kaman