When Marc Gasol dislocated his left pinkie finger against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel thought that his starting center might be done for the night. But then, in a moment Vogel described postgame as “kinda gross,” a Lakers trainer popped Gasol’s finger back into place.
Shortly afterwards, Vogel asked Gasol if he’d rather go and get his injured digit looked at in the back, or go back into the game. Gasol left little doubt of his preference.
“This is my left hand. I’m good,” Vogel recalled Gasol telling him. “I don’t need my left hand.”
Even after having X-rays that revealed he had suffered a volar plate fracture in the finger, Gasol didn’t sound very worried.
“It’s my left,” Gasol said. “I don’t use it much anyways.”
Our own Dr. Rajpal Brar concurred with Gasol’s medical assessment:
Volar plate fracture typically means an avulsion fracture where a ligament on the underside of the finger chipped off a small piece of bone. Pretty mild injury since it’s on Marc’s off-hand pinky https://t.co/FOsBevxhkx— Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT (@3cbPerformance) April 16, 2021
Gasol’s lack of concern for the safety of his left hand aside, the Lakers are listing him as questionable for their next game on Saturday, when they’ll host the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. With Andre Drummond — who they signed to start over Gasol — dealing with an extremity injury of his own (a toe contusion), the Lakers might be lacking some serious center depth to match up with Defensive Player of the Year favorite Rudy Gobert.
But if Gasol really wants to play, he already showed against Boston that he is likely up to the challenge, scoring a season-high 20 points, including two threes after he had his pinkie popped back in.
“It felt a little weird when you go up, just the grip of the ball, but adrenaline helps,” Gasol said. “You want to just continue to help the team.”
In that spirit, Gasol said he can “hopefully” play on Saturday, and even though the Lakers couldn’t pull out a victory against Boston, Vogel appreciated Gasol’s display of grit.
“It was pretty awesome to see him continue on like that and play through something like that,” Vogel said.
Whether or not Gasol will continue to do so remains to be seen, but it sounds like if it’s up to him, he’ll be out on the court, helping his teammates.