The Lakers have struggled to survive a disappointing season while being left shorthanded with injuries to several key players. Kobe Bryant is out four-to-six weeks with a knee fracture. Steve Nash hasn't played a minute with a back injury. Pau Gasol, arguably the team's best active player, has joined the list of players possibly unavailable for the Lakers Friday night game in Utah.
The team classifies Gasol as day-to-day as he continues to battle a respiratory infection. The big man has attempted to fight through the infection for several games, and he saw ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. John J. Rehm in hopes of continuing to play. On Thursday, the team announced Gasol will not fly to Salt Lake City with the team.
Gasol could still play against the Jazz if he feels better Friday morning. Lakers coach Mike D'Dantoni remains optimistic.
"Like anything else, you're not 100 percent physically and you're going to have shorter times of energy and stuff like that," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said when asked about Gasol. "He'll get over it. He'll be fine."