Pau Gasol Injury: Updates on Bulls Star's Knee and Return

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 3: Pau Gasol #16 of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball during the game against the Sacramento Kings on February 3, 2016 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Chicago Bulls big man Pau Gasol was dealing with a knee injury that had kept him out of action since March 11. However, he is ready to return. 

Continue for updates. 

Gasol Active vs. Kings

Monday, March 21

Gasol will be available on Monday against Sacramento, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, who added he'll be on a minutes limit.  

MRI Fails to Reveal Injury

Sunday, March 13

Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago passed along word of the testing on Gasol's knee, adding there is nothing "structurally wrong" but that Gasol's timeline for a return is unknown. Johnson noted Gasol has "considerable swelling" in his knee.

Gasol's Injury Further Hampered Bulls' Depth

Gasol arguably exceeded expectations in his first season in the Windy City. He averaged 18.5 points and 11.8 rebounds per game and earned his first trip to the All-Star Game in four years. As a result of playing under then-coach Tom Thibodeau, he also played his best defense since he was at the peak of his powers with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Despite turning 35 last July, Gasol's performance has only dropped off slightly during the 2015-16 campaign. He has appeared in 61 games, averaging 17.0 points on 47.1 percent shooting and 11.1 rebounds a night.

Lakers legend Magic Johnson argued his old team made a big mistake in letting the five-time All-Star go in 2014:

Gasol has picked up a few more minutes following Joakim Noah's season-ending shoulder surgery.

"I like to compete," he said in January, per Johnson. "And I like to push it until the wheels fall off. Hopefully, it won't get to that point. I just want to do whatever I can to help this team as much as possible. If I play a couple more minutes a game, so be it."

Given Gasol's age, head coach Fred Hoiberg has to be careful about pushing Gasol too hard, especially after this most recent injury.