The Los Angeles Lakers have been banged up all season long. Dwight Howard came into the season rehabbing a surgically repaired back, Steve Nash went down in the second game of the year with a broken leg and Jordan Hill is done for the season following hip surgery.[GET $5 FREE WHEN YOU ENTER EARLY FOR SPORTSBOOK’S $100,000 BRACKET CHALLENGE]
As if all those injuries throughout the season weren’t enough to derail this team built to contend for an NBA title this season, the Lakers have also had to deal with Pau Gasol suffering a torn plantar fascia and Kobe Bryant severely spraining his ankle. Gasol has been out since Feb. 5 with the foot injury while Kobe has missed the last two games with the ankle sprain.
Fortunately, Bryant and Gasol appear to be headed back to the floor sooner than anticipated. Gasol’s recovery time was thought to six to eight weeks with a possibility of missing the rest of the season if unable to avoid setbacks, but with the two-time NBA champion making progress, the Spaniard may return as early as Friday against the Washington Wizards at the Staples Center.
Along with Gasol nearing his return, Kobe also seems ready to return with the perennial All-Star claiming that his ankle is fine on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
With Kobe and Gasol potentially back in the mix on Friday, the Lakers will be as close to full strength as they have been all season long. Hill may be done for the year, but Gasol’s return should help bolster the team’s frontline while improving the team’s chance of clinching a playoff spot in the Western Conference in the coming weeks.
Lakers Nation News
Lakers Haven’t Won Back-To-Back Games Yet [LA Times]
Lakers React To Andrew Bynum’s Surgery On Both Knees [LA Times]
Pau Gasol Won’t Pinpoint Return [LA Times]
Kobe Bryant As Assistant Coach? [LA Times]
Mike D’Antoni Not Opposed To Kobe Bryant’s Help Coaching Lakers [Examiner]
Lakers’ Mike D’Antoni: ‘Hopefully Kobe And Pau Will Play Friday’ [Examiner]
Gasol Calls Pain ‘Manageable,’ Nears Return [OC Register]
Ding: Howard Leaves Manager After 9 Years [OC Register]
Discussing D’Antoni And The Seven-Man Rotation [Silver Screen & Roll]
Antawn Jamison Is More Than An X-Factor [Silver Screen & Roll]
Tweetbag: Nash Says Team Needs Rest Till Friday [Silver Screen & Roll]
VINCENT BONSIGNORE: Former Lakers On Edge As Miami Heat Close In On Record Winning Streak [LA Daily News]
Lakers Forward Metta World Peace Says Right Fibula ‘Popped’ [LA Daily News]
Lakers Forward Earl Clark Shows No Emotion About Demotion [LA Daily News]
What Will Earl Clark’s Role Be When Pau Gasol Returns? [Forum Blue & Gold]
Not Just Run And Gun [SB Nation]
Did The 76ers Make A Huge Mistakes? [SB Nation]
Oh No, Chris Paul! You Look Hurt! [SB Nation]
For Heat, Win Streak Can Be Part Of Team’s Legacy [Pro Basketball Talk]
Ten Prospects NBA Fans Should Watch In NCAA Tournament [Pro Basketball Talk]
Coach Frank Call Pistons “Disheartening To Watch” [Pro Basketball Talk]
VIDEO: Clippers’ Paul Throws Halfcourt Alley-Oop To Jordan [Sports City]
LeBron On Posterizing Terry: ‘I’m Glad It Happened To Him’ [Sports City]
VIDEO: Clippers’ Chris Paul Commits Worst Flop Of The Season [Sports City]
VIDEO: Bucks’ Monta Ellis Does His Best ‘Globetrotter’ Impression [Sports City]