Pau Gasol Says Retirement Is 'Definitely in My Mind' Amid Foot Injury Rehab

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2020

Injured Portland Trail Blazers player Pau Gasol sits on the bench during an NBA basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and the Trail Blazers in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

NBA veteran Pau Gasol is contemplating retirement, and his ongoing issues with a navicular stress fracture in his left foot are the major reason why. 

"With this recovery process and the injury that I have been dealing with for more than a year, it's undoubtedly inevitable to think about retirement," he told El Pais (h/t Eurohoops). "Also taking into account that I will be 40 years old in a few months. So it's definitely in my mind."

Gasol underwent surgery for the injury in May 2019 but is still recovering. He was signed by the Portland Trail Blazers ahead of the 2019-20 season but didn't play a game for them and was eventually released in November. 

Gasol also appeared in just 30 games in the 2018-19 season between the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 3.9 points and 4.6 blocks in 12 minutes per game.

It was the first time in his career he failed to average double-digit points.

The six-time All-Star and two-time champion was one of the NBA's best big men in his prime, but he's been on a declining trajectory the past five years. That is perhaps to be expected, given his age. 

But Gasol had also been hoping to play for Spain in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Given his ongoing recovery—and the uncertainty of when the Games will even be held, with postponement an inevitability at this point, per USA Today's Christine Brennan—it is unclear if appearing at one more Olympics will be possible. 

Gasol also spoke on the coronavirus pandemic and how he's dealing with the various measures being taken to limit its spread. 

"I imagine that it's like everyone else," he said, per El Pais. "We must approach it with great concern, great sensitivity, great personal, family and social responsibility. ... It's a time when, as a society, as a country, as a world, we have to be very responsible, follow the recommendations of our governments and win the battle against the virus."

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