NBA — 14 March 2013
Pau Gasol to Return to Starting Lineup Next Week

Kobe Bryant’s injury not withstanding, the Lakers are on a roll and are finally in the playoff picture. For whatever it’s worth, they’ve made this run with Pau Gasol out due to injury. And now, so is Kobe.

But Pau is expected to return next week, ahead of schedule. And he’s also supposed to be reinserted into the starting lineup, according to the LA Times. That should be very interesting considering the fact that the Lakers have been playing well without him.  But knowing Mike D’Antoni, this report of Pau starting may not even be true.

With Kobe being out, and with the addition of Pau, chemistry may take a hit. The Lakers are going to need every game and hope Kobe is heeled up come playoff time.

Pau Gasol will return soon from torn plantar fascia in his right foot. The only game he ruled out was Friday at Indiana. ‘Everything else is possible. I’m not going to hold myself back if I think I’m ready to play,’ Gasol said Wednesday. ‘There’s not many games left in the season and every game will be valuable to us. We’re keeping our options open. We’re trying to see how I progress over the next few days.’

He will also be a starter. Gasol was essentially coming off the bench when he was injured, though he had started a few games while Dwight Howard dealt with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Gasol will return to the starting lineup next week in place of struggling Earl Clark, unless conditioning reasons force him to come off the bench for a game or two, an unlikely event.


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