Pau Gasol is expected to sit out for at least two weeks while he heals his strained right groin.
The Lakers had initially penciled him out for this week’s trip with stops in Minnesota (tonight), Cleveland (Wednesday and Philadelphia (Friday). Gasol also received a platelet-rich plasma therapy injection Monday in hopes to accelerate the healing process in his groin. But the Lakers wouldn’t say what prompted the additional timetable.
The Lakers haven’t currently set a date on when they will reevaluate Gasol. But according to the Lakers’ latest timetable, Gasol will miss at least six more games, including next week’s homestand against Chicago (Feb. 9), Utah (Feb. 11) and Oklahoma City (Feb. 13). Gasol won’t return until after NBA All-Star weekend Feb. 14-16, perhaps as early as Feb. 19 when the Lakers host the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. That marks one day before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 20, a notable development considering Gasol’s uncertain standing with the Lakers.
The Lakers have been engaged in trade talks that would send Gasol to the Phoenix Suns, though his health could complicate the deal. It would also hinge on whether Phoenix would send first-round draft picks to the Lakers.
The Lakers have been decimated with an injury depleted roster, including Kobe Bryant, who remains sidelined for at least two more weeks while he heals his fractured left knee. But the Lakers (16-31) enter tonight’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves (23-24) featuring a flurry of healthy point guards, including Steve Nash (nerve issues in back), Steve Blake (hyperextended right elbow) and Jordan Farmar (torn left hamstring).
Gasol has remained one of the few bright spots on the Lakers, averaging 20.6 points on 50.9 percent shooting and 12.1 rebounds through 35.3 minutes through January. But he has been limited both defensively and with various ailments.
Gasol’s latest treatment involves drawing his own blood, spun in a centrifuge and reinjected into the affected area. He had also posted a photo of the procedure on his Instagram account, adding, “I will work hard to be back with the team as soon as possible.”
But that won’t happen.
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