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Pau Gasol will be out six to eight weeks

There won't be much of the season left when the 7-footer returns from a tear in his foot.

February 07, 2013|By Mike Bresnahan

BOSTON — How appropriate for the Lakers to officially release the Pau Gasol injury news an hour before playing their worst enemy.

It was that bad.

Gasol will be out at least six to eight weeks because of a tear in the bottom of his right foot, the Lakers said.

There might be a handful of games left in the regular season when he returns. Might.

Gasol was averaging 13.4 points and eight rebounds when he sustained the torn plantar fascia. He had been relegated to the bench, starting only when Dwight Howard sat out because of a sore shoulder, but his teammates said he would be missed.

"I think L.A.'s kind of seeing how much we miss Pau and what he brings to the table in his skill set," Kobe Bryant said Thursday after the Lakers trailed by 32 points and lost to the Boston Celtics, 116-95. "Maybe now they'll start appreciating him a little bit more."

Gasol battled painful swelling on the underside of the foot this season but felt a pop in the foot while jumping to block Brook Lopez's shot in the Lakers' game Tuesday at Brooklyn.

He left the arena on crutches that night, underwent an MRI exam Wednesday in Boston and received confirmation of the tear Thursday in Los Angeles from foot specialist Kenneth Jung.

The Lakers (23-27) have 32 regular-season games left. If Gasol missed only six weeks, there would be 13 games remaining. If he missed eight weeks, there would be seven games left.

You again?

The Lakers have winning records against every team in the NBA except two: Boston and Charlotte.

They're a surprisingly dim 8-8 against the Bobcats.

"That's really one of those stats, you look at it and look at it and try to figure it out," Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions said.

The former Lakers guard could look at it all day. There's really no explanation.

But Sessions is part of an equally intriguing "what-if?" related to the Lakers.

He declined a $4.55-million player option last June that would have kept him under contract with the Lakers and, presumably, prevented them from acquiring Steve Nash.

Sessions, 26, is averaging 14.9 points and 3.9 assists for the Bobcats, who signed him to a two-year contract worth $10 million.

"I'm definitely having a good time," he said in a phone interview, adding he had no regrets about opting out. "I was 100% behind my decision."

He still watches Lakers games, including the final few minutes of their collapse last week in Phoenix.

"When they put that team together, I thought it would be an easy transition with four future Hall of Famers," he said. "I was excited to see how it panned out."

World Peace back

Metta World Peace returned against the Celtics after a one-game NBA-imposed suspension. He declined to talk about it Thursday.

"I totally forgot about it. I don't even know what happened," said World Peace, who forfeited almost $81,000 in salary. "I don't even know what you're talking about."

World Peace had five points on two-for-13 shooting against Boston.

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan


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