The seven-footer strained the plantar fascia in his right foot against the Brooklyn Nets, and has yet to play in a game since. The initial diagnosis put Gasol out for six to eight weeks.
When the Los Angeles Lakers star first suffered the injury, there was a thought that he could miss the remainder of the season. The big man, though, believes he’ll be back with some time to spare.
"I hope," Gasol said when asked if he’d play again this season. "It’s a thing that you take one day at a time, and you go with the symptoms and see how well and how quick your body is able to heal.”
Still on crutches, Gasol won’t be playing any time soon. He feels confident though that he’s healing at a good pace.
"A certain injury varies from different individuals, so we’ve made a lot of good progress. I’m expecting to get off those crutches very soon, and we’re in the right path. That’s all I know right now two weeks into the injury."
Gasol has missed the Lakers last six games with the foot ailment. Prior to getting hurt in Brooklyn, the veteran had already missed 13 games because of tendinitis and a concussion. If he makes it back on the court within six weeks of the injury, he’ll be good to go on Mar. 22 against the Washington Wizards.
Even when the 32-year-old was on the court, he had been playing very poorly. In 36 contests, Gasol has averaged a career-low 13.4 points per game. Head coach Mike D’Antoni removed Gasol from the starting lineup on Jan. 7.
Gasol would be a key in L.A. making a push towards the playoffs. The Lakers are 3.5 games behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final postseason spot in the West, but Kobe Bryant is confident the team will be playing after the regular season ends.
“We will make the playoffs,” Bryant recently told Sports Illustrated.
The Lakers have 27 games remaining on their regular-season schedule, including 13 against current playoff teams.