The Spaniard said he’s feeling better compared to where he was before missing his first game last Tuesday at Houston, but knows it would not be prudent to return too early.
His knees first became problematic in the preseason, but he sat out only one game at the time and tried to push through the pain. However, the effect on his game was obvious, as the career 50+ percent shooter was at a career-low 42 percent from the field. Coach Mike D’Antoni noted that he wasn’t “moving real good,” and was “struggling a little bit physically.”
Gasol missed only one game in both the 2008-09 and 2011-12 seasons, and played all 82 in 2010-11, in addition to playing in all 89 playoff games in purple and gold.
Antawn Jamison started all four games Gasol missed, while Jordan Hill started the second half against Utah in Sunday’s loss. The Lakers will see how Gasol feels in advance of the team’s Thursday game at New York.
L.A. is 1-3 in Gasol’s absence.