Pau Gasol did not travel with the Los Angeles Lakers on their latest road trip because the Spaniard was suffering from a strained groin. However, upon the team’s arrival in Minnesota, news broke that Gasol received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy injection.
Although the center was originally expected to be re-evaluated upon the team’s return to Los Angeles over the weekend, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reported that the Lakers expect Gasol to miss six games, extending his time on the sidelines past the NBA’s All-Star break.
If that timeline is accurate, Gasol is set to miss at least six games due to the groin injury, including home games against Chicago, Utah and Oklahoma City. The Lakers are currently on a 7-game losing streak with games in Cleveland and Philadelphia coming next on the schedule.
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Initially, Gasol’s absence was counter-balanced by the returns of Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar. However, the Lakers lost Jodie Meeks for the a minimum of two games due to an ankle sprain, and Jordan Hill is questionable for Wednesday’s game in Cleveland due to an inadvertent elbow by teammate Chris Kaman.
This season, the Lakers’ medical updates have been more entertaining that their game updates this season.
Incidentally, Gasol’s timeline for examination mirrors Kobe Bryant’s reevaluation from a fracture in his knee. Xavier Henry is still hopeful of returning following the current road trip, but the Lakers’ have no guarantees on Henry’s recovery from a bone bruise in his knee.
At this point, the Lakers are hoping to be competitive, but the light at the end of the tunnel keeps flickering and fading. Trips to Cleveland and Philadelphia would normally not pose massive threats, but the Lakers are circling the drain and do not have any business being favored against anyone these days—especially on the road on a second night of a back-to-back or in the third game in four days.
Gasol’s name has also been involved in trade talks recently, and the Lakers appear to be willing to part with the 7-footer if a valuable asset is offered to the team, but to this point, the only reported trade offers have revolved around providing the Lakers financial relief—something the Lakers have not shown much interest in.
Ultimately, the underlying message of Gasol’s injury timeline is that Gasol may never play as a Laker again.