Pau Gasol optimistic he can return before the season ends

Pau Gasol slowly but surely made his way to the interview table.

That’s because he’s used crutches ever since tearing the plantar fascia of his right foot during the Lakers’ win two weeks ago against Brooklyn, an injury that will keep him out for at least an additional four to six weeks.

Such a timetable means Gasol could return as early as March 22 when the Lakers host the Washington Wizards at Staples Center. At that point, the Lakers would have 13 games remaining on their schedule.

How optimistic does Gasol feel that he could return before the season ends?

“I hope,” Gasol said. “It’s a thing you take one day at a time and you go with the symptoms and see how well they go and quick the body is able to heal with a simple injury. It varies from different individuals.”

Gasol has tweeted that he’s started his day for the past two weeks since his injury rehabbing his right foot with a contrast footbath, which helps activate the circulation and flush out the inflammation. Gasol has gone through this process in both cold and hot temperatures. Gasol also revealed on Twitter that he’s worn a protective boot at times, which helps get rid of the swelling caused by the facia’s tear.

“We made a lot of good progress,” Gasol said. “I’m expecting to gett off crutches very soon. We’re in the right path. That’s all I know right now two weeks into the injury.”

The Lakers have sorely missed Gasol despite averaging a career-low 13.4 points on 45.3 percent shooting and eight rebounds per game. The Lakers have gone 2-3 during Gasol’s latest injury, including losses to Boston, Miami and the Clippers.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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