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LAKERS FYI

Pau Gasol probably won't play Friday

His hamstring is improved, but he says he's far from ready to make his season debut.

November 05, 2009|Broderick Turner

HOUSTON — Day by day, Pau Gasol has made improvements from a hamstring injury to the point where he has been cleared to resume basketball-related activities.

But his return for a basketball game with the Lakers remains uncertain.

Gasol took an MRI exam Monday that revealed he had a strained right hamstring and not a slight tear that showed up on the sonogram he also took. The MRI is a more sophisticated examination.

The Lakers also sent the MRI results to Gasol's personal physician in Spain.

"The results of the MRI were promising and positive," Gasol said Wednesday night. "So that gives me a little bit of hope that I'll be back soon. I just hope that I can increase the level of work that I'm doing right now until I feel good about it and my hamstring responds well."

Gasol said he hopes to practice today.

But as far as playing Friday night when the Lakers host the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center, Gasol shot that down.

"I'm far from playing on Friday," he said.

The Lakers play again Sunday night, but Gasol wasn't "sure about that either."

Gasol, out for a little over three weeks, said he did "a little bit of work on the floor" during Wednesday night's game between the Lakers and Rockets and that it turned out "pretty good."

The 7-footer sat out only one game last season.

Ariza downplays game

His demeanor didn't suggest otherwise, but Trevor Ariza was asked the question nonetheless.

Was Ariza out to prove the Lakers made a mistake in not keeping him after he helped the team win the NBA championship last season?

"I guess you can say if I was a person that looked to get revenge on people, it would be like that," Ariza said. "But I'm not that type of person. It's a basketball game that I want to win, definitely. But right now I don't feel any extra pressure or extra emotions to go out and show them that they made a mistake. . . . I thank them for the opportunity."

The Lakers chose to sign Ron Artest to a five-year, $33.7-million contract instead.

Ariza signed a five-year, $33.9-million deal with the Rockets after the Lakers decided to go in another direction.

Ariza faced the Lakers on Wednesday night for the first time.

Ariza, who will get his championship ring Nov. 15 when the Lakers face Houston at Staples Center, had a chance to beat his old team. But Derek Fisher stripped the ball away from Ariza just before time expired in the Lakers' overtime win.

"It means we lost, so it didn't mean nothing," said Ariza, who came in averaging 21 points and finished with 15 points on five-for-21 shooting. "If we would have won, it would have meant something."

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broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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