Pau Gasol no longer needs crutches after knee procedure

Even with the uncertainty ahead regarding his future with the Lakers, Pau Gasol had one specific reason to appear in high spirits on Thursday.

Gasol underwent the so-called “Fast Technique” procedure on three weeks ago, which entailed having a probe inserted into both of his knees to direct to eliminate scar tissue without damaging the healthy tissue. He also had another procedure two weeks ago in which Dr. Steve Yoon of Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Group in Los Angeles provided stem cell injections to help stimulate regeneration in Gasol’s tissue.

The Lakers still expect him to stay sidelined for at least nine more weeks, penciling Gasol to participate in basketball related activities sometime in early August. Gasol plans to go back to his native Spain next week where he will continue his rehab. These next few days could also mark his last time in Los Angeles as a Laker.

Gasol, who’s under contract next season for $19.3 million, could be traded or waived via the amnesty provision. He missed a total of 33 games due to various ailments, including knee tendonitis that sidelined him for eight games in early December. But Gasol said the injury lingered throughout the season. Such ailments and Gasol’s reduced offensive role under Mike D’Antoni’s system contributed to him averaging a career-low 13.7 points on 46.6 percent shooting and 8.6 rebounds through 49 games.

Yet, Kobe Bryant has advocated to the front office to keep the Lakers forward after guiding the team to two NBA championships in 2009 and 2010. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has also held out the possibility on keeping Gasol even if Dwight Howard resigns with the team.


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