Pau Gasol off crutches but no date yet for return to Lakers

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Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol confirmed on Tuesday that he is off crutches, saying on Twitter that "everyday is feeling better" but still has no date set for his return. The Spaniard was sidelined Feb. 8 after being diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia. The initial timetable for his return was six to eight weeks, which would mean he would miss another 11 games if he missed the next three weeks.

Gasol is averaging a career low 13.4 points per game this season, adding 8.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 blocks in 36 appearances before going down with the injury.

The Lakers, currently 28-30, would miss the playoffs if the post-season began today; the team is currently seeded ninth in the Western Conference with 24 games remaining in the regular season. Kobe Bryant told our own Jack MacCallum in a story last week that it's not a question of whether the Lakers will make the playoffs, adding that the team will definitely make it in and that he has no fear of anyone.