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Lakers' Gasol out 6-8 weeks with plantar fascia tear

02/07/2013 3:06 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Pau Gasol could miss the rest of the regular season if he has surgery.(AP)
Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol has a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his right foot and is expected to be sidelined for at least six-to-eight weeks, if not the remainder of the season.

Gasol, who has been battling plantar fasciitis in his foot all season, suffered the latest setback near the end of Tuesday’s Lakers victory over the Nets at Barclays Center. The 32-year-old Spaniard left that game with 3:52 remaining, roughly 30 seconds after going down while contesting a Brook Lopez shot, and later said he had heard a “pop” in his right foot.

The forward left Barclays Center on crutches that night, saying he was concerned about the injury, and had an MRI Wednesday in Boston that confirmed the tear in the muscles in the bottom of his foot. According to the team, Gasol flew back to Los Angeles to be re-examined by team doctor Steve Lombardo and foot specialist Kenneth Jung on Thursday, and he will also seek an additional medical opinion before deciding on a course of treatment.

"It felt kind of OK a little bit putting my weight on it without walking or running," Gasol said after the game. "But once I started running, I was limping, I was really sore and even if I tried, I just couldn't go."

CBSSports.com quoted a league source in saying that if Gasol chooses to simply rehab the injury, his absence should be limited to the 6-8 week time frame. However, should he choose to have surgery, Gasol would have a better chance of full recovery but would be out for 10-12 weeks, a timetable that even the lower end of which extends beyond the Lakers’ scheduled regular-season finale on April 17.

Either way, the injury is a huge blow to the playoff hopes for the Lakers, who have also seen center Dwight Howard in and out of the lineup already this season while trying to play through a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Through Wednesday, the Lakers were 23-26, three games behind Houston for the eighth Western Conference playoff spot.

"I'm hoping to recover asap so I can be back with the team and keep fighting until the end of the season," Gasol tweeted Wednesday night.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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