After the third quarter of Wednesday’s loss at Houston, Pau Gasol headed to the Lakers locker room with athletic trainer Gary Vitti to stretch out a tight left hamstring, returning early in the fourth quarter and finishing the game.
Unable to sprint or play with his usual activity, Gasol concluded the contest with just eight points and nine rebounds despite 38 minutes of action, numbers far below his usual averages of 21 points and 12 boards.
We learned on Thursday morning back in Los Angeles that Gasol does indeed have what the team is classifying as a strained hamstring, which he first aggravated during L.A.’s Tuesday evening’s loss to Memphis.
“It’s tight, a little sore,” Gasol explained. “We’ll see how it goes. Obviously when you have a little bit of a history with it, you get concerned, but you try to do your best handling it and not aggravating it too much while you’re trying to help the team.”
That history includes 17 missed games in 2009-10, 11 to start the season and six in January with strains of his respective right and left hamstrings. Gasol did reveal that his current strain is simply not as bad.
“So far it’s not comparable,” he said. “We’ll see if it stays useful.”
The Lakers are set to play the Sacramento Kings at home on Friday, and while Gasol is listed as “day-to-day,” Phil Jackson did acknowledge that the team has talked about holding him out. This in part because L.A.’s next game isn’t until Tuesday, which would give him five more days to make sure his hamstring is right.
“Hopefully tomorrow it will feel better,” Gasol concluded. “We don’t want to (get ahead of ourselves) … we’ll go through (Friday’s) shootaround and see how it feels.”