After a visit to an ear, nose and throat doctor showed his respiratory illness has worsened, Pau Gasol is expected to sit out when the Lakers (13-16) play Friday against the Utah Jazz (8-23) at EnergySolutions Arena.
The Lakers are listing Gasol’s recovery timetable as day-to-day to leave open the chance he could play against Utah should he heal. But Gasol sat out of Thursday’s practice and isn’t currently traveling with the team on their flight to Salt Lake City. Gasol didn’t speak with reporters after Thursday’s practice, but he has admitted in recent days the respiratory issues that emerged within the past week had negatively affected his energy level, breathing and aggressiveness. Gasol also sat out of the Lakers’ loss last Saturday to Golden State. Gasol had respiratory issues at the beginning of the season, though he said they subsided within a week.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni spoke to reporters after Thursday’s practice before Gasol’s evaluation ruled him out against Utah, making it unclear who will replace him in the starting lineup. Possible candidates could include Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman or even rookie Ryan Kelly. Kaman started in Gasol’s place when he sat out of the Lakers’ loss to Golden State.
D’Antoni also noticed how Gasol’s ailments contributed toward his season average of 14.7 points on a career-low 44.6 percent shooting.
“Like anything else, you’re not 100 percent physically and you’re going to have shorter times of energy and stuff like that,” D’Antoni said. “He’ll get over it. He’ll be fine.”
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