You never know sometimes with Lakers coach Phil Jackson, but today he said it might Christmas before Pau Gasol is ready to play again. Gasol has a strained right hamstring and will miss his eighth game of the season when the Lakers host the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. Anyway, judge for yourself. Here’s what Jackson said after practice:
TV guy: It seems like he’s a little uncertain and maybe the rehab has taken a step backwards.
Jackson “I find that hard to believe, that it’s gone backwards. … Right now, he’s capable of doing only so much and nothing else. But it is mysterious, no doubt about it.”
Newspaper guy: Do you know when he’ll practice again? He thought maybe in a few days, after some treadmill running? Do you have a target date?
Jackson: “No. We’re starting to look toward Christmas, though. Some time out there.”
Newspaper guy: That’s a ways away.
Jackson: “Yes, it is. You know how we are. We always say, ‘Let’s not put anything out there that’s futuristic. We’ll just get disappointed.’ He’s very disappointed right now.”
TV guy: Mysterious?
Jackson: “Yeah, because with most hamstrings you see bleeding or bruises or holes in the hamstring. His has been one of those things wasn’t a big concern to us, but has turned into a month-long injury.”