Pau Gasol Returns to Lakers Practice, Still Questionable Against Miami Heat - NBC Southern California
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Pau Gasol Returns to Lakers Practice, Still Questionable Against Miami Heat

Pau Gasol took part in practice for the first time since suffering a concussion on Jan. 6, and the Spaniard may be ready to return on Thursday against the Miami Heat.



    This video of Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, and Dwight Howard was shot at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo, Ca on January 16, 2013. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013)

    Pau Gasol took part in Los Angeles Lakers’ practice for the first time in 10 days on Wednesday after suffering a concussion earlier in the month. The Spanish giant was cleared to practice, and he performed some three-on-three drills with the media looking on.

    After practice, Gasol met with the media and informed everyone in attendance that he would not be officially cleared to play until being examined prior to Thursday night’s game against the Miami Heat.

    Head Coach Mike D’Antoni was asked if Gasol may be eased back into the lineup. He responded that he didn’t know, but he did add, "I mean, that would make sense."

    When Gasol was asked directly about his feelings on possibly coming off the bench, he provided a measured response.  "We’re talking about it with the head coach and the head trainer," Gasol revealed. "I have a lot of say-so."

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    "I would always like to start and play 40 minutes, but that probably is not the best thing right now," he added.

    If Gasol does not start, Earl Clark would be expected to retain his starting position. However, Clark missed Wednesday’s practice with flu-like symptoms. He is expected to be ready to play on Thursday night against the Miami Heat. 

    Also at practice, Kobe Bryant was asked about having to guard both Dwayne Wade and Lebron James, but Bryant did not seem to display a preference when it came to his defensive responsibilities against the Heat.

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    Lakers' center Dwight Howard revealed that he felt like he was finally regaining his legs and lift. When Triple Threat’s Shahan Ahmed asked Howard if his second alley-oop at the start of Tuesday’s game against the Bucks was as high as he’s jumped since being in Los Angeles, Howard responded, "I agree."

    "My legs are coming back," Howard continued. "I was pretty impressed by what I did."

    Continuing on the injury front, Steve Blake announced that he is seeing a doctor on Thursday, and he was working out in the same three-on-three drills that Gasol took part in.

    Finally, the Lakers announced that Jordan Hill is set to seek a second opinion in Nashville on Monday for his season-ending hip injury.