Lakers Practice Report: Pau Gasol Hopes to Play Thursday
As expected, the day before the Lakers play the Miami Heat, the Lakers training facility was filled with media outlets and plenty of questions. Maybe less expected, however, was that Pau Gasol was out on the practice court, participating in a series of three on three drills with some of his teammates.
He’s missed five games since his concussion, but said that he is “optimistic” to play in tomorrow’s long-awaited match-up. His optimism, though, relies on his discussion with Dr. Vern Williams expected to take place tomorrow morning, the key to Gasol’s potential clearance. Gasol will also be counting on how his body feels after today’s practice.
“I think with the day that I had and now I’m going to see how my body, my brain reacts the next couple of hours.”
If Gasol does get cleared to play in tomorrow night’s game, don’t automatically expect to see Gasol in the starting rotation. Gasol explained that he is open to easing into things, and potentially coming off the bench.
“We’re talking about it with the head coach and head trainer…have a lot of say so in this…I would always like to start, and play 40 minutes, but that is probably not the best thing right now.”
As far as his role with the team when he does return, the Spaniard seemed a bit less uncertain, citing his inactivity over the past week and a half as being the main concerns.
“I don’t know. I guess I have to ease my way back into it. This is the first day that I actually got some good work done on the court…after a week and a half of inactivity you’re body needs a certain time to get back out there and perform at your best. We’ll take it one day at a time.”
The Lakers are currently on a two game winning streak and looking to gather as many wins as possible over the next couple months to secure a playoff spot. The defending champs, Miami Heat, will be in the Lakers house Thursday night, but it’s up to the purple and gold to perform on the home stage.
VIDEO – Lakers Practice: Pau Gasol discusses concussion symptoms, likelihood of playing tomorrow, and possibility of coming off the bench