Algunos ejercicios del entrenamiento de hoy en el gimnasio! Some exercises from today’workout at the gym. #… https://t.co/86DrWZLAuV
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) August 25, 2013
The images surrounding Pau Gasol helping the Lakers toward winning an NBA championships remains a distant memory. In the past three seasons, other sights stick out. The Lakers forward has become trade bait after the team’s unsuccessful attempt to trade him in the original Chris Paul deal. Gasol has tried to overcome reduced roles to accommodate Andrew Bynum and then Dwight Howard. Gasol hasn’t been fully healthy, either.
Yet, Gasol seemingly has nine lives when it comes to his time with the Lakers. With Howard’s departure, it’s presumed Gasol will have a larger role in the post, a key factor that ensured the Lakers to three Finals appearances and two NBA championships. But an important variable remains unanswered in determining how successful Gasol becomes next season in what will be the last year of his contract worth $19.3 million.
Gasol recently posted a video on Vine above showing his rehab efforts surrounding his knees, which suffered from tendonitis and tendonosis last season. Yet, it remains to be seen how fully healthy he can become.
When Gasol underwent a procedure May. 9 on both of his knees, the Lakers said he was expected to return to basketball activities in approximately 12 weeks. That timetable reached its end four weeks ago, but Gasol hasn’t returned to on-court drills. Instead, Gasol has spent recent days riding an exercise bike, swimming in a pool and working out in the weight room.
Granted, Gasol still has plenty of time to become fully healthy. Lakers training camp isn’t expected to start until late September. The Lakers’ season opener takes place Oct. 29 at Staples Center against the Clippers. Nonetheless, the work Gasol puts in from now until then could play a huge part in whether his increased role correlates with the improved production he’s sorely wanted in recent seasons.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org