Pau Gasol to accompany Lakers on two-game trip

The center has missed four games because of a strained left hamstring but says it is feeling better. Whether he will be healthy enough to play against San Antonio and Dallas is uncertain.

January 11, 2010|By Mike Bresnahan

Pau Gasol will go with the Lakers for their two-game trip to San Antonio and Dallas.

Whether he feels healthy enough to play is a different story.

Gasol had to stop a workout on a treadmill Saturday after feeling pain in his strained left hamstring, but he had a better experience during a 10-minute treadmill workout Sunday night before the Lakers' game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

"It felt better," he said, smiling. "Today was a positive step."

Gasol has missed four games because of the injury.

"I can feel the pulling," he said. "If the pain is there and it increases when you do activity, then you're not in a good place. It's the wrong place to be."

At the same time, Gasol said this hamstring strain was less severe than a previous strain in his right hamstring that sidelined him for the Lakers' first 11 games.

"The other time I did feel some [pain] going up stairs, bending down, picking up stuff from the floor," he said. "Not this time."

The Lakers aren't rushing him.

"We know Pau takes some time coming back from injuries," Coach Phil Jackson said. "Any injury he has concerns us."

The Lakers were 8-3 during his first hamstring absence and are 2-2 without him this time.

Gasol said it was "very, very hard" to watch from the sideline and was hopeful he would be able to play soon.

Artest report card

The Lakers are nearing the midpoint of the regular season, but Jackson didn't have a grade for Ron Artest, who is averaging 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds and missed five games because of a concussion.

"I would say it's incomplete right now," Jackson said. "Missing those games has really kind of stopped development. We're happy [overall]. We think he gives us a good feel. We're still adjusting to how to play with him."

Artest was a non-factor Sunday, scoring two points in 20 minutes against Milwaukee. He left the game midway through the third quarter and did not return after complaining of dizziness, Jackson said.

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