More bad news for the cursed, the Los Angeles Lakers’ injury crisis continues on.
Pau Gasol, who played 33 minutes in Friday night’s loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, underwent an MRI on his sore right groin on Saturday. The MRI revealed a strained right groin, and Gasol will be out a minimum of one week.
Gasol’s natural replacement, Chris Kaman, also had an MRI on a sore right knee, but results came back negative for Kaman, and he is cleared to play. That's good news for Kaman because he has not maintained a regular spot in the rotation this season. Barring injury, Kaman would expect to start on Tuesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
After Tuesday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers, the Spaniard revealed that he had been struggling with the issue prior to starting that game. Gasol explained that his toe injury was connected to his groin issue as he shifted his “load” off his one injured toe, the groin was being affected.
Gasol will be reevaluated the weekend of Feb. 8, so he will sit out all three games of the Lakers’ upcoming road trip. This news comes of the heels of positive injury updates that Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake all returned to Lakers’ practice, and all three were optimistic about possibly returning at Minnesota, at Cleveland or at Philadelphia.
Gasol’s injury particularly hurts from an offensive standpoint, as the Spaniard has been performing at a high level of late. Since the clock struck 2014, Gasol has averaged 20.8 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. Going back to New Year’s Eve, the Spaniard has scored 20 or more points in 15 of 16 games.
However, Gasol’s injuries have exposed the Spaniard’s fleeting defensive ability. On Friday, Al Jefferson matched his career-high with 40 points. Also, Jefferson’s 18 rebounds were telling of Gasol’s inability to properly move about under the basket.
With Gasol being the most likely trade asset on display for the Lakers, his ability to return to the floor and regain a rhythm prior to the Feb. 20 deadline could prove to be beneficial for the team. For now, however, the Spaniard is only the latest Laker to suffer the wrath of the Lakers’ never-ending injury virus.