As if the Lakers needed another adversity, CBS Sports' Ken Berger has reported via Twitter that 4-time All-Star Pau Gasol will miss at least 6 weeks after getting an MRI exam on his injured right foot in Boston.
Pau Gasol has a partial tear of his plantar fascia and is expected to be out at least six weeks, league source tells @cbssports.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 6, 2013
The results reveal a partial tear of his plantar fascia (the thick tissue supporting the arch of the foot). Berger further reports that Gasol has an option for surgical repair on the torn tissue to have a chance at full recovery but it would add at least 4 more weeks to his timetable. Pau is said to expect to get a second opinion, perhaps when the Lakers return to Los Angeles.
Gasol injured his foot after going up to challenge Nets center Brook Lopez's shot attempt with 4:22 left in the 4th quarter. Pau immediately went down on the floor grabbing his right foot. After a Lakers timeout, Gasol stayed on the floor to try to play through it but the pain became too unbearable as he ran back on defense. Pau never returned after heading back to the locker room.
This is obviously a big blow to the Lakers who are playing their best basketball of the season and are trying to catch the 8th seed Houston Rockets, who are currently 3 and a half games in front of them. The Lakers have 3 games left in their "Grammy tour" road trip that will end in Miami on Sunday. They'll play their first game against the Celtics on Thursday.
With Dwight Howard still nursing his sore right shoulder, the Lakers could end the rest of the trip without their 2 best frontcourt players. They've done a remarkable job at winning their last 3 road games, but they're facing the toughest stretch of their current road trip while trying to avoid more losses to maintain their chance for a playoff spot.
Without both big men in the lineup, the Lakers are facing a monumental challenge in winning at least the next 2 games. We'll see what happens.