Lakers News: What Pau Gasol Injury Means for LA Going Forward

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IFebruary 7, 2013

Feb. 5, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol (16) is checked by the trainer after an apparent injury on the court against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half at Barclays Center. Lakers won 92-83. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

With Dwight Howard already nursing an injury, the Los Angeles Lakers took another hit on Tuesday night in a 92-83 road win against the Brooklyn Nets.

Sports Illustrated is reporting that Gasol will miss significant time after tearing his plantar fascia:

According to ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin, this is what he had to say after the game regarding his injury:

I tweaked my fascia in the first half, so I was dealing with quite a bit of soreness in the second half. So I couldn't do certain things.

I was dealing with it, but that play when I tried to jump off of it and try go block the shot, just as I took off, I felt a pop in the bottom of my foot on my fascia and I couldn't get up. I'm worried about it.

Take a look at how Gasol injured himself on Tuesday night:

With Howard already missing time with a shoulder injury and Gasol missing significant time with his foot, the Lakers could be in some trouble here.

Los Angeles has been surging of late and can't afford injuries to prevent it from moving up in the standings.

After a dismal start to the season, the Lakers have won six of their last seven games and are just three games back from the No. 8 seed in the West.

Since moving into the starter's role with Howard down, Gasol had looked like his old self.

The four-time All-Star is averaging 20 PPG and 8.7 RPG in the month of Feb., including two double-doubles, against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons.

While Howard is listed as day-to-day and should return to the lineup soon (via ESPN), this is still a significant injury for the Lakers. 

Gasol knows L.A.'s offense better and has more chemistry with Kobe Bryant than Howard does.

With Los Angeles playing increasingly better basketball of late, this is certainly a setback for the Lakers, especially with the Boston Celtics (twice), Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers looming in the next two weeks.

This is an injury that has affected Gasol in the past and the Lakers definitely don't need it flaring up while they're trying to climb out of the basement of the West.

Especially since the Lakers are better when he's on the court, as ESPN Stats & Info points out:

With Gasol missing significant time and Howard still sitting, L.A. will be without the interior presence of its two biggest players both offensively and defensively.

We'll see how long this injury keeps Gasol sidelined, but hopefully the Lakers can get Howard back on the court and continue pressing toward a playoff spot.


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