Pau Gasol Released by Trail Blazers Amid Unsuccessful Rehab from Foot Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2019

Portland Trail Blazers forward Pau Gasol poses during the NBA basketball team's media day at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore., Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Sam Ortega)
Sam Ortega/Associated Press

The Portland Trail Blazers waived veteran Pau Gasol on Wednesday as the veteran big man has been unable to successfully rehab his way back from left foot surgery.

He noted that he will take on a different role within the organization.

Gasol was limited to just 30 games in 2018-19 as he split time between the San Antonio Spurs and the Milwaukee Bucks. After having not played since March 10, he underwent surgery to repair a navicular stress fracture in his left foot on May 10.

He signed a one-year deal with the Trail Blazers as a free agent in July, but he never played in a game for the franchise as he was unable to fully recover from the injury.

In his video, Gasol mentioned that the original timeline for his return ranged anywhere from six to 12 months. However, a recent evaluation of his status determined that he would need a longer rehab.

As a result, the decision was made to waive him to give the Trail Blazers roster flexibility.

The 39-year-old Gasol made it clear in his video that while he may take on a different role with the organization in the meantime, he is not planning on retiring. He is "fully" committed to his rehab and will look to resume his playing career.

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"I have the same excitement and passion for the game of basketball that I had when I first started playing," Gasol said. "And I will work as hard as I can on my recovery with a clear goal in mind: to get healthy in order to play the game that I love."

Gasol—the third overall pick in the 2001 draft—has played 18 seasons in the NBA, earning six All-Star selections and winning a pair of NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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