Gasol’s Injury Less Severe Than Prior Strain

Phil Jackson said before Tuesday evening’s game that Pau Gasol’s hamstring injury was “less severe” than Gasol’s previous right hamstring strain that kept him out of the season’s first 11 games.

The strain is classified as “mild to moderate,” as reported yesterday.

“There is an insignificant amount of (a) tear, but it’s still something that we want to prevent from becoming anything greater,” said Jackson. “We’re hoping it’s game-to-game, though I highly doubt he’ll be ready for (Wednesday’s game).”

In short, Gasol will miss Tuesday’s contest against Houston and, as Jackson said, more than likely Wednesday’s against the Clippers. He will be re-evaluated prior to the team’s Friday evening game in Portland.

Particularly as the Lakers have Ron Artest (concussion) back in the front court after a five-game absence, Jackson implied that the team has the luxury of proceeding with caution in regard to its Spaniard.

“With Pau, the idea is that we can cover (for him) with Andrew (Bynum), Lamar (Odom) and Josh (Powell),” Jackson concluded. “We don’t want anything to happen that is extenuating; that’s why we have the depth we have on this team. We have some margin for error right now.”