Pau Gasol shows improvement in foot, doesn’t have firm return date

Although an ultrasound taken Tuesday on the torn plantar fascia of his right showed it has continuously healed, Pau Gasol doesn’t have a firm return date.

Gasol has nursed his foot injury for the past six weeks, and his rehab remains on track with the Lakers’ initial timetable that he would miss at least six to eight weeks. Gasol’s still expected to return within the remaining two week window.

The Lakers had the day off on Tuesday and won’t play until Friday when the Lakers host the Washington Wizards. The Lakers then plan to have a light practice Wednesday followed by a more intense session on Thursday. It remains to be seen whether Gasol will participate in either of those sessions.

He had spent the past week participating in running drills. But Gasol experienced additional soreness Saturday following a game of two-on-two at the team’s practice facility. Although he won’t require Gasol to practice before playing in a game, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni still prefers seeing the Lakers forward go through full-court five-on-five contact drills. That would give a better gauge on Gasol’s pain tolerance and conditioning.

Gasol, who has missed the past 20 games with his latest injury, will phase into the starting lineup once his conditioning progresses. Though he has averaged a career-low 13.4 points on 45.3 percent shooting and eight rebounds a game, Gasol remains a valuable piece with his post presence and facilitating skills.

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

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