By Ben Golliver
Lakers forward/center Pau Gasol was forced from action with a right foot injury during the fourth quarter of a 92-83 win over the Nets in Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Tuesday night. The Lakers announced after the game that Gasol had suffered a strain of the plantar fasciitis in his right foot and that he would undergo an MRI on Wednesday. He left the arena on crutches.
With a little more than four minutes remaining in regulation, Gasol attempted to defend a drive by Nets center Brook Lopez. As he rose to contest the running shot, Gasol pulled up in mid-air, falling to the ground in pain. Replays showed that there was no contact between the players and that the injury appeared to occur as Gasol lifted off the ground.
Gasol initially attempted to walk off the injury but eventually went to the locker room with the assistance of the Lakers' medical team. He departed with 15 points (on six-for-16 shooting), four rebounds and two blocks in 34 minutes.
ESPNLA.com reported that Gasol said he "felt a pop" and that he was "worried" about his foot. The Orange County Register noted that one possible cause of the "pop" could be a rupture of Gasol's plantar fascia, which could sideline him for more than a month. CBSSports.com reported that Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was "very, very concerned, to say the least," about Gasol's injury.
Earlier this week, Gasol indicated that he would not request a trade in advance of the Feb. 21 deadline despite frustration with his role and playing time under coach Mike D'Antoni. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has promised a quiet deadline for his team. Clearly, any long-term injury to Gasol would nix the possibility of a move.
This season has been one nightmare after another for Gasol. He's missed time due to knee tendinitis and a concussion and he's averaging a career-low 13.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game while shooting a career-low 45.6 percent from the field.
The Lakers are already without forward Jordan Hill, who was lost to a season-ending hip injury, and Dwight Howard, who has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury. Howard is listed as day-to-day. L.A. next plays against the Celtics in Boston on Thursday. Video via YouTube user nbaus3030