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Gasol set to return soon, might start

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Pau Gasol's recovery continues to go well and Gasol has only ruled out the Lakers' game in Indiana on Friday., will he be in the starting lineup?

USA TODAY Sports

Pau Gasol is set to return to the Los Angeles Lakers soon, and will likely be back in the starting lineup. The big man stated that the only game he is ruling out is Friday's contest against the Indiana Pacers, via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

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.

Furthermore, it appears Gasol will be back in the starting lineup as Earl Clark is struggling and is suffering from an ankle sprain of his own. On top of that, a "person familiar with the situation" claims that Mike D'Antoni does not want to create any more distractions that stem from Gasol being "demoted" to the bench, via Bresnahan:

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.

Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni doesn't want to repeat the distractions caused by Gasol's demotion to reserve status, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Tuesday will mark the six-week threshold since he suffered the plantar fascia tear when the Lakers visited the Brooklyn Nets on February 5. The Lakers return home to face the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, then travel to Phoenix to play the Suns to end the back-to-back on Monday.

- Drew

- Follow this author on Twitter @DrewGarrisonSBN

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