Lakers’ Pau Gasol improving, still not cleared for return
Pau Gasol underwent examination by Dr. Vern Williams on Thursday. The Los Angeles Lakers medical staff determined that although the Pau Gasol had progressed in his recovery from the concussion, he could still not be cleared for resuming normal basketball activity. The 32-year-old Pau Gasol will be reevaluated on Friday morning to determine his status before the Los Angeles Lakers host the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center, later that day.
"I continue with the recovery and there's improvement. After today's visit with Dr. Williams, I haven't been cleared yet for physical activity,” Pau Gasol communicated on his Facebook page. “Tomorrow we'll see how I feel and reevaluate, until then I have to keep resting and being patient.”
The four-time All-Star Pau Gasol has missed a total of 10 games this season – including eight games with knee tendinitis. Pau Gasol missed the Los Angeles Lakers’ road trip against the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs this week due to the concussion.
Additionally, Dwight Howard is expected to miss Friday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to a shoulder injury. The Los Angeles Lakers reserve big man Jordan Hill, who is dealing with a hip injury has also been ruled out against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night. Both Dwight Howard and Jordan Hill are scheduled to be reevaluated next week.
Dwight Howard has failed to make an impact in the paint, or rack some rebounds. His performance has been considerably affected while rehabbing from offseason back surgery and missing the early part of the season.
The Los Angeles Lakers have displayed an evident weakness at transition defense and defensive rebounding. But Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash believes the team will catch-up with the issues as soon as its key big men return.
"When we get our big guys back, then there's no excuses," said Steve Nash. "We really have to build the defense."
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Blake is also hoping to make a return from abdominal surgery. But that date may still be a couple of weeks away.
The under-manned Los Angeles Lakers (15-20), who are on a five-game losing streak, won’t find an easy way around the 27-8 Oklahoma City Thunder Friday night.