Well Nation, it has been five weeks as of yesterday that our all star forward went down with a tear to his plantar fascia on his right foot. The initial injury report said he’d be out 6-8 weeks and it’s looking like he’s going to return at the early end of that timetable. According to Kevin Ding Gasol was about 2 weeks from returning four days ago on March 9, this via BleacherReport.com.
The Lakers’ plan is for Gasol to ramp up his running gradually, and barring any setbacks, he should be running on the court next week. The plan does not include him beginning basketball activities yet, however, so he is unlikely to return to game action until at least two weeks passes.
This is great news for the Lakers as I believe Pau’s return could greatly bolster the starting lineup. With Howard playing with a renewed dominance, Kobe throwing
it back to 2000, and an overall electric surge to the Lakers chemistry, a healthy Pau Gasol can only help this Lakers roster. According to the report it appears that Gasol should return on March 25 at Golden State. Definitely a game where the Lakers could use the length of the seven foot Spaniard to combat the likes of David Lee and Andrew Bogut. However that is just an estimate and he could come back sooner or later than that date.
These tweets are bits of good news from Pau and give fans a glimpse of when he can possibly return to game action. It’s safe to say Pau has been struggling this season under Mike D’Antoni’s style of offense and has had his worst statistical season of his 12 year career. However, the nine previous games before he went down with his injury he had been playing some of the basketball long time fans of Pau had come to expect. Averaging 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in those nine games while shooting 55% from the field. Let’s hope those numbers can continue once he comes back and he can play at the high level he is clearly capable of.
The biggest question though, isn’t when he will come back, but how he will come back. How will he affect the offense? The defense? Will he mesh with D’Antoni’s style of play again, or flounder and end up coming off the bench once again?
I believe Pau won’t be an immediate factor to the team. It’ll take him a bit of time to shake that rust he’s accumulated over the past six weeks and once he rids himself of that he should return to form. The Lakers need Pau to be as great as he can be, they need him to dominate in the low post, grab rebounds and push the opposition out of the paint. If Pau can accomplish that, the Lakers will be a significantly better team for it.
It sounds like Pau is going to return right as the playoff push is in full swing, and his performance should rocket the Los Angeles Lakers into the 6th seed of the Western Conference playoff picture. That’s right, I said it, the 6th seed. Let’s go.