Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol is suffering from a mild ankle sprain after undergoing an MRI, the team announced:
Injury Update: @paugasol's MRI confirmed that he has a mild sprain of his right ankle.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 2, 2013
He sprained right ankle following a 114-108 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night, Dec. 1.
Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding originally reported Gasol's injury along with a statement:
Pau, planning MRI on sore right ankle Mon, "wasn't upset" about sitting whole 4Q b/c D'Antoni likes "units" and team was making a big run.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) December 2, 2013
The Lakers don't play again until Friday, Dec. 6, in Sacramento. According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com, Gasol said he will have his ankle examined Monday, which is an off day for the team.
Gasol has been dealing with injuries all season, including a sprained left pinkie finger that has hampered him along with the ankle soreness, per McMenamin. When he was forced to sit out of the fourth quarter against the Blazers by coach Mike D'Antoni, Robert Sacre filled in for the big man.
The second-year player from Gonzaga has averaged just 3.7 points per game this season and 2.5 rebounds per game, but finished with 12 points and seven rebounds against the Blazers. Sacre was on the floor during a comeback that had the Lakers within one before eventually falling to Portland.
Gasol is in the last year of a Lakers contract paying him $19 million this season. Despite his injuries, the big man has averaged 14.3 points per game and 9.9 rebounds. While the rebound totals are up from his career average of 9.4, his point production is down by four points from his career average.
At 33 years old, the 7-footer is working to pick up the slack with superstar Kobe Bryant sidelined. The Lakers are 9-9 and fourth in the Pacific Division. They'll need all their pieces in place if they want to make a run at the postseason in 2013-14.