Pau Gasol is pain-free and on track to make his return soon

Harry How

Since shutting down his basketball activities on December 2nd Pau Gasol is now close to putting this episode of tendinitis in both of his knees behind him. A recap of the Pau updates from Friday and Saturday.

Pau Gasol has been resting his old Spaniard knees since December 2nd, a Sunday evening in which the Lakers lost to the Orlando Magic while he put in 28 minutes of play for 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. L.A. decided to shut him down until further notice as the tendinitis in both of his knees was becoming detrimental so he joined Steve Nash as a suit model on the bench. Since beginning his rest and treatment regime, Gasol has now made significant progress. To start, he is now pain-free in his knees after hitting the treadmill for three days, per Kevin Ding.

Pau Gasol said he has over 3 days gotten basically pain-free in his knees on treadmill work. Tomorrow he will begin on-court workouts. That means he doesn't figure to play in the Lakers' game in Philadelphia on Sunday, but if all goes well, perhaps Tuesday at home against Charlotte. At the least, next Saturday at Golden State is looking good, although Pau didn't want to put any dates out there. It's even possible that both Steve Nash and Gasol will return from injury together in that Golden State game. - Kevin Ding, OC Register via Sulia

Oh Kevin Ding, stop plucking at our heart strings here.

Dave McMenamin with ESPN Los Angeles asked Pau Gasol what a timetable for his return looked like and Gasol was non-committal to a specific date.

Would he return Sunday against Philadelphia?

"Doubtful," Gasol said, before checking to make sure he was using the right sports availability terminology. "Doubtful? Is that like the lowest degree of [likelihood]?"

How about Tuesday at home against Charlotte?

"Questionable," Gasol said.

Then surely, next Saturday on the road against Golden State?

"That’s probable," Gasol said.

So, that would make a Christmas Day rematch against the New York Knicks in L.A. a definite, right?

"I wish," Gasol said. "There’s no definites right now."

Despite not wanting to lock in a certain return date, Gasol was upbeat about how he was feeling after deciding to sit out.

"We’re taking a step in the right direction, so we’re seeing progress," Gasol said. "So, it’s been positive so far."- Dave McMenamin, ESPN Los Angeles

And wrapping up the Gasol update, Kevin Ding reports that Pau was on the court for the first time today since beginning the rehabilitation of his knees.

Good news for the Lakers: Pau Gasol got back on the court today for the first time in two weeks and successfully went through 90 minutes of running, shooting and other individual basketball drills.

He told me yesterday that he had graduated to basically no pain from the tendinitis in his knees during three days on the treadmill. Now he didn't have any problems advancing to on-court work today.

The next step will be seeing how his knees feel tomorrow after the stress of today. If things go well, Gasol could be back for the Lakers' home game against Charlotte on Tuesday -- with the next game after that not till Saturday at Golden State. - Kevin Ding, OC Register via Sulia

It's interesting to note that the Lakers have a giant layoff from Tuesday to Saturday, which could provide a window to test the waters on Pau's knees and still have time to allow proper recovery after putting him back into the lineup. Tomorrow will be judgment day on how far he has come.

BULLET POINTS TIME!

  • Pau's pain-free after running on the treadmill for 3 days
  • He considers himself questionable for Tuesday's home game against the Bobcats
  • He considers himself probable for Saturday's game against the Warriors.
  • Tomorrow's pain, or lack of pain, in his knees will likely determine whether he play's Tuesday, with the next game being Saturday.

- Drew

- Follow this author on Twitter @BallReasons

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