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Spurs Star Pau Gasol's Foot Injury Diagnosed as Stress Fracture

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2018

San Antonio Spurs Pau Gasol plays in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol has been diagnosed with a stress fracture, according to The Athletic's Jabari Young.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich revealed on Wednesday, per Young, that Gasol was out of his walking boot and had been working out on the court recently. However, the team halted things as a second opinion confirmed he had a stress fracture.

Gasol has been sidelined since Nov. 4 due to his foot injury. According to Young, the veteran big man will be out "a while."

He has dealt with a variety of injuries in recent years, seeing an increase in games missed from 2014 to 2017. He left a game last season due to a shoulder problem and also needed hand surgery back in January 2017. 

Although the aging Gasol isn't the player he once was, the six-time All-Star can still make an impact on the court. This season, the 38-year-old is averaging 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in nine contests. 

Even at his age, Gasol believes he is more than capable of starting and providing quality minutes when healthy.

"I feel like I can help DeMar [DeRozan], Rudy [Gay], Dejounte [Murray] and [LaMarcus Aldridge] get easier baskets, make that extra pass, stop the game a little bit when it needs to be stopped," Gasol said in October, per Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News, before Murray suffered a season-ending torn ACL. "I'm not trying to play point guard out there, but I know I have played this game for a long time and I know how to play it well."

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When Gasol and the 6'11" Aldridge are on the court together, the two-time NBA champion believes the Spurs have a size advantage over the rest of the league.

"We've got to utilize our size," Gasol added, according to Orsborn. "We have size at every position in that lineup."

Playing without Gasol leaves a hole up front for San Antonio. Pressure will be on Aldridge and Co. to control the glass without their 7'0" teammate, who was the team's second-leading rebounder a season ago.

The Spurs lost a couple of key pieces of their rotation during the offseason by trading away Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, not to mention Tony Parker's departure and Manu Ginobili's retirement. As a result, they will lean upon All-Star DeMar DeRozan while hoping Aldridge can be a difference-maker in the paint without Gasol. 

San Antonio is 10-10 through its first 20 games of the season.

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