Pau Gasol has been having an abysmal season so far, putting up some of the worst numbers in his career. So what's to blame? Tendinitis in both of his knees.
Gasol talked to the media about his injury, saying:
"It was just something that started flaring up in the preseason. I didn't want to stop, and I don't want to stop now. I just don't have that luxury. It's been bothering me for a while, but again, you play through it and try to keep it under control. It's a little limiting, but it is what it is. There's not much I can do about it. It's been under control, more or less. Hopefully it won't force me to miss games, unless I feel like my percentage of performance is way down and I just can't do that to myself or to the team.”
The Spaniard's left knee is the worst, but he's been wearing straps on both to help ease the effects. He's admitted, though, that it's affecting his jumping, quickness and overall play.
There are any number of things that can be looked at to blame, from his playing in the Olympics to Mike Brown's marathon practices to simple wear and tear, but the fact is that he has tendinitis and it's not going away any time soon.
That said, there are already rumors floating around that Gasol is back on the trade block. It's curious that he's being so forthcoming about how bad his injury is, until you consider his past with the Lakers. They already traded him last year for Chris Paul in the infamous vetoed trade, and he made it clear that he wants to stay in Los Angeles.
So, it's possible that by him under performing, and being 100 percent honest about just how bad his tendinitis is that it's less likely a team will want to take him. Especially when they take into account the fact that he's owed $19 million this year and $19.2 million next season.
However, Pau has also been very open about how he feels that he doesn't fit into to an offensive system they've used since the Triangle, and it's definitely shown.
The Lakers insist they aren't shopping him around, but they typically keep mum on their dealings with trades and players. If they are looking to ship him out, Pau is making it pretty difficult with his lackluster play and self-confessed lack of athleticism.