Pau Gasol was examined by Dr. Vern Williams on Thursday afternoon after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Although Gasol showed signs of improvement, he was not cleared to play on Friday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Williams will re-examine Gasol on Friday morning in hopes that the Spanish 7-footer can play for the Lakers later that night.
The Lakers are still without Dwight Howard and Jordan Hill, so Robert Sacre should continue to start if Gasol is not cleared to play in Friday's game.
If Gasol is cleared to play, the Spaniard would likely start at his natural center position rather than the power forward position he has been primarily featured in this season. Gasol has been forced to change his game this season, and the Spaniard has even been working on shooting three-pointers.
However, with Howard still out with a torn labrum—a right shoulder injury—Gasol would likely get back into the low post position and play in a role he is comfortable with. An early recovery may be the key to reigniting Gasol’s contribution, as this season has been a massive disappointment for the two-time NBA champion thus far.
Along with Gasol and Howard, Hill suffered a hip injury that has him definitely ruled out of Friday’s contest. The Lakers’ thin squad led to some youth and energy revealing itself in the form of Earl Clark and Robert Sacre. Even with the bench contributing beyond what was expected, the Lakers were not able to win games.
Currently, Los Angeles is on a five-game losing streak, so getting Gasol back would be a massive boost to a team that desperately needs a win.