Pau Gasol has been out for a couple of weeks now with tendinitis. The Lakers are currently 10-14 but are 2-5 without Gasol.
There is some good news, though. Pau Gasol could be returning by Tuesday’s home game against the Charlotte Bobcats. And if not Tuesday, then Saturday on the road against the surging Golden State Warriors as the Lakers have three days off after the Bobcats game. Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register said as much on this latest report.
Good news for the Lakers: Pau Gasol got back on the court today for the first time in two weeks and successfully went through 90 minutes of running, shooting and other individual basketball drills.
The next step will be seeing how his knees feel tomorrow after the stress of today. If things go well, Gasol could be back for the Lakers’ home game against Charlotte on Tuesday — with the next game after that not till Saturday at Golden State.
ESPN L.A.’s Dave McMenamin has a similar report. Gasol didn’t want to seem like he was making a return timetable but with his answers, it seems like he could be back very soon.
Would he return Sunday against Philadelphia?
“Doubtful,” Gasol said, before checking to make sure he was using the right sports availability terminology. “Doubtful? Is that like the lowest degree of [likelihood]?”
How about Tuesday at home against Charlotte?
“Questionable,” Gasol said.
Then surely, next Saturday on the road against Golden State?
“That’s probable,” Gasol said.
So, that would make a Christmas Day rematch against the New York Knicks in L.A. a definite, right?
“I wish,” Gasol said. “There’s no definites right now.”
When Gasol was asked if he made the right decision to rest…
Even though the Lakers have gone just 2-5 without him, Gasol was confident he made the right decision to rest when he did.
“For sure,” Gasol said. “I have no doubt. Unfortunately, we haven’t obtained the results that I would like to — that we would like to as a team lately — but hopefully, it will be all for the better later on.”
“It feels better. My knees feel better. My body overall feels better, just from not putting my body through the pounding and the load of the games.”
Pau Gasol is off to the worst start in his NBA season as he is averaging 12.6 points and 8.8 rebounds. Gasol is also only shooting .420 from the field. He’s looked lost in head coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense as he was once again put back as a stretch four instead of being put on the block, where he excels. Kobe Bryant said in a recent interview that once Gasol gets back on the court, he should be back on the post.
Gasol also mentioned that the bursitis in his right elbow had died down with all the rest he had been getting. So all the nagging injuries are going away for Pau. That is definitely good news.
As for their other injured all-star, Steve Nash? McMenamin also has a report on that.
Steve Nash (fractured fibula, left leg) told reporters on Thursday he also planned to return to practice next week.
Nash and Gasol could end up making their returns together.
With both guys coming back soon, we could finally see the full potential of this squad. The Lakers had been hyped as one of the teams that could win it all because of the Dwight Howard and Steve Nash acquisitions. Hopefully, we can see it sooner than later. For the team’s sake, they hope to see that, too, because the Lakers are having a tough time holding the fort down at 10-14.
The Lakers play the Philadelphia 76ers later on tonight.