Pau Gasol Injury: Latest Updates on Lakers Star's Concussion

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2013

Those calling for a Los Angeles Lakers team that doesn't include Pau Gasol have gotten another glimpse of what the team looks like without him, but that will change soon.

 

UPDATE: Sunday, Jan. 20 at 11:41 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

Pau Gasol will finally return to the Lakers' starting lineup, according to Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan.

For those awake enough to care...Pau Gasol will start today vs. Toronto. #Lakers

— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 20, 2013

Oregon County Register's Kevin Ding went on to report more details surrounding Gasol starting:

Pau back in Lakers' starting lineup. Why? D'Antoni: "He made it pretty clear he wanted to start. That's fine. I'm good with that."

— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) January 20, 2013

---End of Update---

 

UPDATE: Thursday, January 17 at 2:15 p.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald

Mike Trudell of Lakers.com reports that Gasol will come off of the bench tonight against the Miami Heat, and will be re-evaluated by head coach Mike D'Antoni afterward, as the team tries to get him back in the starting lineup.

Mike D’Antoni said Pau Gasol (concussion) will play, but not start since he hasn’t played in a week and a half. Clark will start.

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 17, 2013

D’Antoni said he’d re-evaluate after Thursday’s game against Miami, and possibly start Gasol this weekend at Toronto.

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 17, 2013

With the possibility of starting in Toronto on the table and coming off the bench against the Heat, it will be interesting to see how Gasol's return impacts the 17-21 Lakers, who have won two straight.

---End of Update---

 

UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 2:40 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp

Gasol will miss Tuesday's game, as previously reported, than make another visit to the neurologist on Wednesday, according to Mark Medina of Inside the Lakers:

Lakers forward Pau Gasol will see neurologist Dr. Vern Williams on Wednesday, marking his seventh visit since suffering a concussion in the team’s loss Jan. 6 to the Denver Nuggets.

Gasol wasn’t evaluated on Tuesday, though he had already been penciled out tonight when the Lakers (16-21) host the Milwaukee Bucks (19-17) at Staples Center.

The NBA concussion policies require players to go through a series of exercises symptom free before being cleared to play. An NBA official said those tests, including ones on the stationary bike, light jogging, running, jumping and agility drills, team drills with limited contact and then full court contact drills.

The report goes on to add that "It remains unclear which drills Gasol has passed if any." Sounds like it's possible Gasol might be missing a bit more time than expected.

---End of Update---

 

UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 14 at 3:25 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp

Another game, another night without Pau Gasol. According to the Lakers official Twitter account, Gasol will miss the team's next game:

From Lakers PR: Pau Gasol will not play tomorrow night against the Bucks.

— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 14, 2013

 

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Saturday, Jan. 12 at 4:25 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos

The Lakers may have to go another game with a thin frontcourt as Pau Gasol is not yet ready to return to action. 

Lakers.com's Mike Trudell reported the following via Twitter:

Lakers say @paugasol (concussion) has not yet been cleared to resume playing. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow.

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 12, 2013

Los Angeles will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow night and it will hope to receive better news on Gasol prior to the game. 

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Friday, Jan. 11 at 3:16 p.m. ET by Ethan Grant

After not passing his concussion test on Thursday, there was little doubt that Gasol wouldn't be returning to the lineup tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Lakers reporter Mike Trudell made it official on Twitter:

Earl Clark will start tonight against OKC, alongside Nash, Kobe, MWP & Sacre. He’ll start out defending Durant. #DukeofEarl

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 11, 2013

Earl Clark, coming off his 22-point game against the San Antonio Spurs, will get another chance to prove he deserves more time on the court on both offense and defense tonight, drawing the matchup of OKC's leading scorer Kevin Durant to start out.

We'll have to wait at least one more game until the big Spaniard returns, but with the way Clark played still fresh in Laker land, I don't think you'll find too many fans complaining.

---End of Update---

 

UPDATE: Thursday, Jan. 10, at 5:31 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney

The Lakers' thin lineup looks like it might continue, as ESPN's Dave McMenamin is reporting that Gasol has failed to pass his concussion test:

Pau Gasol was examined today, per the Lakers. He's still not cleared to play. He'll be re-examined Friday morning before OKC game

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 10, 2013

---End of update---

 

UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 7:25 p.m. ET by Josh Schoch

Pau Gasol might be back sooner than Lakers fans expected. Kevin Ding of Orange County Register gives us the inside scoop:

 

I'm also told Pau is expected to play for Lakers on Friday night vs. OKC if he passes his concussion test Thursday. (He didn't pass today.)

— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) January 9, 2013

 

While he still needs to pass his concussion test, this is certainly a promising sign, and LA fans need to cross their fingers for a speedy return.

---End of Update---

UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 6:08 p.m. ET by Richard Langford

Pau Gasol is still battling his concussion and is not yet cleared to hit the court. Turner's David Aldridge has the latest update: 

Lakers announce Pau Gasol was not cleared to resume play after re-examination today by neurologist. Gasol will be evaluated again Thursday.

— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) January 8, 2013

With the Lakers injuries in the front court mounting, Los Angeles has to be anxiously awaiting Pau to get clearance to play. 

---end of update---

According to Lakers beat writer Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, the talented Spaniard will be out of action for at least the team’s next two games:

Dwight Howard has torn labrum in his right shoulder, is out at least a week. Pau Gasol has a concussion, is out at least two games. #Lakers

— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 7, 2013

Gasol took an elbow to the face from Denver’s JaVale McGee late in the fourth quarter of the team’s 112-105 loss on Sunday night, though as he told reporters after the game, he didn’t believe his nose was broken.

This is just another of many bad breaks the 12-year veteran has suffered this season.

Between head coach Mike D’Antoni’s indecisiveness as to how to best utilize Gasol’s game and the seemingly never-ending trade winds that continue to swirl around him, things haven’t gone according to L.A.'s plan in the 2012-13 season.

Gasol’s numbers are down from his career averages across the board this year, most notably in points scored—12.2, more than six points less than his career average of 18.5— and field-goal percentage, with a .416 mark, down from his usual .518.

It will be fascinating to see how the Lakers operate without having their veteran forward on the floor for the entire game. 

Should the team start to play better with Kobe Bryant as the only superstar on the court, those calls for Gasol’s departure will only grow louder.

Yet if the Lakers continue to struggle, perhaps the blame that has been thrown on Gasol for most of the season will begin to subside upon his return to action.