The Los Angeles Lakers may be in big trouble again, as they were earlier in the season.
During Tuesday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, forward Pau Gasol went down after feeling a “pop” in his troublesome foot. The big man was concerned about the situation when it happened, and Wednesday’s MRI confirmed he had reason to worry, from Ken Berger of CBSSports:
The Lakers’ forward is expected to miss at least six weeks with a partial tear of his plantar fascia and may need surgery, a league source told CBSSports.com.One option for Gasol is rehab, which would involve an absence of 6-8 weeks. Surgery would result in Gasol missing 10-12 weeks, but would provide a better chance of a full recovery, the source said. Gasol, who said he felt a “pop” in the foot Tuesday night when he attempted to contest a shot at the rim by the Nets’ Brook Lopez, had an MRI Wednesday in Boston, where the Lakers play the Celtics Thursday night.
The Lakers have won six of their last seven games and had reason to feel positive for once as they trail the eighth-seeded Houston Rockets by just three games, but Gasol’s injury puts a huge cloud over the immediate future of the team.
Given the circumstances, Kobe thinks Dwight Howard needs to suck it up with his shoulder pain and play for the injury-ridden Lakers, from Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
“He’s probably worried about the damage in his shoulder,” Bryant said. “I don’t think he’s ever had to play through injuries in his career. I think it’s a new experience for him.”… When you have an injury that hurts you but you can play through it that’s something you have to balance out and manage and he’s never really had to do that.” The message was blunt: suck it up.
Right now, Bryant is dealing with a sore right elbow. He got electric stim treatment on it before the game. When he threw down the dunk, he said pain shot up his arm. “After a play like that you can’t grab your arm, it messes up the swag of the moment,” Bryant said. “You’ve got to suck it up.”
Despite all the injuries, drama and general dysfunction that has been the Lakers, Jerry West thinks they are still playoff bound, according to Ian O’Connor of ESPN New York: