After receiving an MRI in Boston on Wednesday, the worst was confirmed; Pau Gasol will be out for at least six weeks with a torn plantar fascia. The Lakers’ forward suffered this injury late in the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets.
This injury is significant for two reasons. First of all, the Lakers already are ailing when it comes to their big men. Center Dwight Howard has missed the last three games after re-aggravating his shoulder, and without Gasol, the Lakers are now down to three big men: Earl Clark, Antawn Jamison, and rookie Robert Sacre. Even with Gasol in the lineup, the Lakers still were out-rebounded by 17 over the last two games against the Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets.
This injury is also significant because the Lakers will not be able to move Gasol before the February 21 trade deadline. Although GM Mitch Kupchak eluded to the fact that the Lakers didn’t plan on trading Gasol, no move would come as a surprise, as they are still a sub-.500 team.
It will be interesting to see how the Lakers address this situation with the trade deadline only 15 days away. Gasol will most likely be out until the end of March or the beginning of April, and with Howard not being consistently healthy, Los Angeles may have to pick up a big man.
The Gasol-less Lakers get their first challenge Thursday night when they take on the Boston Celtics in Boston.