This underachieving season has worn on Pau Gasol in every way imaginable.
In what he described as a “roller coaster,” Gasol navigated plenty of highs and lows. He faced reduced offensive role under Mike D’Antoni’s system. The Lakers coach even featured Gasol as a reserve for six games. Of course, Gasol also faces a 0-3 deficit in the Lakers’ first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs and an uncertain offseason.
But Gasol said he’s experienced the most frustration nursing never-endining injuries including knee tendinitis, a concussion and plantar fascia in his right foot, ailments that sidelined him for a total of 33 games. Even if he’s suiting up Sunday for Game 4 against the Spurs, Gasol said he’s far from healthy. So much that he said he will explore various non-surgical procedures to treat the knee tendonosis in both of his knees.
“It’s something I’ve dealt with all year, but I have to do something to regenerate the tissue,” Gasol said, “so I don’t have to play with this pain.”
Kobe Bryant went to Germany two years ago to have a derivation of the platelet-rich plasma procedure on his right knee, which entailed involves blood being taken from the patient and isolating the components in hopes of accelerating the healing process and relieving pain. Would Gasol go to Germany, too?
“I’ll go to wherever I need to go,” Gasol said. “It’s a possibility.”
Gasol said the tendonosis in both of his knees has created dead tissue and inflammation with most of the pain reserved for his left leg. Unfortunately for Gasol, he primarily uses that leg to jump when he’s post position. Although he has healed from the plantar fascia enough to return to the lineup in late March, Gasol said the pain in his right foot “is still bothering me.”
“It has been limiting but at the same time, I’ve been performing pretty well,” said Gasol, who has averaged 17.5 points on 51.3 percent shooting in the last eight regular season games in April. “I want to continue to fight and continue to leave it out there on the floor.”
Gasol has had mixed success though.
Through three games in the Lakers’ first-round series against the Spurs, Gasol has averaged 13.3 points on only 42.5 percent shooting. He’s also largely struggled guarding Spurs forward Tim Duncan, who’s averaged 19.7 points on 53.1 percent shooting in the postseason against the Lakers.
“It’s difficult, but nothing has been easy this year,” Gasol said. “I wouldn’t expect anything less.”
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