Doctors in Los Angeles are expected later Thursday to determine the extent of Pau Gasol’s condition and suggest whether he will have to sit out the rest of the NBA season after injuring his right foot during the Lakers’ Tuesday night game against the Nets at Brooklyn.
The results of the MRI taken in Boston on Wednesday, where the Lakers are due to play the Celtics Thursday, showed that Gasol has a tear of the plantar fascia — tissue that stretches from the heel to the middle foot bones — according to a statement released by the Lakers. A preliminary diagnosis recommended the 32-year-old forward be sidelined for up to six to eight weeks. But Gasol flew back to Los Angeles to be examined by team doctor Steve Lombardo and foot specialist Dr. Kenneth Jung.
It is a bad break for Gasol who could miss the playoffs if the Lakers reach the finals. In the best of scenarios, Gasol would miss about 20 games before returning to the court at the end of next month. The Lakers have 33 more games to play for the season, including Thursday’s match with the Celtics.
Despite Gasol’s injury, the Lakers trounced the Nets 83-92. The Spaniard injured his foot when he went down as he tried to block a shot by Nets center Brook Lopez with about four minutes remaining in the game. He said later that he felt a pop. “I had fasciitis and I had been dealing with it for a couple of months now, but I didn’t feel anything like I did tonight,” he told the AP.
The Lakers are now two men down with center Dwight Howard also out indefinitely — he missed his third consecutive game Monday — with a torn labrum in his right shoulder.