It's time to accept that this Los Angeles Lakers squad is never going to be 100 percent healthy.
Steve Nash has recovered from his early-season injury and is providing Mike D'Antoni's squad with solid production, but almost like a see-saw of maladies, his recuperation has apparently come at the expense of others.
Dwight Howard has missed three straight games, Kobe Bryant is toughing it out through an injury (as always) and Pau Gasol, who appeared to getting better like Nash, suffered an injury on Tuesday night.
Let's take a look at the most recent news surrounding this ailing squad.
Despite the report that Howard was "definitely" going to play on Tuesday, he was, for the third game in a row, sidelined.
It doesn't sound like he's planning on coming back until he is 100 percent, either (via USA Today's Alex Raskin):
Howard didn't say much at Tuesday's shootaround. He hoped for another win, but when asked if he could play with the injury, the soon-to-be free agent said, "This is my career."
When Howard was asked a similar question after Tuesday night's win over the Nets, it was more of the same skepticism (via ESPN's Dave McMenamin):
I asked Dwight if he'll play in Boston: "I'm not talking about that right now, boss"— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 6, 2013
The Lakers got fantastic frontcourt play from Antawn Jamison and Earl Clark on Tuesday. But with Pau Gasol sidelined again, Howard's return can't come soon enough.
And things were going so well. With Howard out of the lineup, Gasol put up two straight 20-10 games. But that momentum came to a screeching halt on Tuesday night when the big man suffered a right foot injury.
Lakers say Pau Gasol has plantar fascia strain in his right foot, will get an MRI tomorrow.— The NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 6, 2013
Adding to the dreary news, ESPN's Dave McMenamin gave us this picture of Gasol leaving the arena on crutches:
Pau leaves on his crutches twitter.com/mcten/status/2…— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 6, 2013
It very well may be time for more Robert Sacre starts.
Bryant played through elbow tendinitis on Tuesday, but it certainly didn't look like it.
Sorry, Gerald Wallace:
If that wasn't enough to convince you, Bryant said after the game that the injury isn't that big of a deal (via ESPN's Dave McMenamin):
It’s OK. It’s sore, but I don’t really think it’s affecting me too much. Some shots it does, but not really. Really the shots that I missed tonight were a lot of some pointblank ones that were really at the rim and those patented fadeaways that I normally put in. I just to stay with it.
Bryant played 37 minutes against the Nets, and we'll see if the added injury to Gasol forces the 16-year veteran to log any extra time as he attempts to recover from his own affliction.