The Los Angeles Lakers have been banged up all season long. Dwight Howard came into the season rehabbing a surgically repaired back, Steve Nash went down in the second game of the year with a broken leg and Jordan Hill is done for the season following hip surgery.
As if all those injuries throughout the season weren’t enough to derail this team built to contend for an NBA title this season, the Lakers have also had to deal with Pau Gasol suffering a torn plantar fascia and Kobe Bryant severely spraining his ankle. Gasol has been out since Feb. 5 with the foot injury while Kobe has missed the last two games with the ankle sprain.
Fortunately, Bryant and Gasol appear to be headed back to the floor sooner than anticipated. Gasol’s recovery time was thought to six to eight weeks with a possibility of missing the rest of the season if unable to avoid setbacks, but with the two-time NBA champion making progress, the Spaniard may return as early as Friday against the Washington Wizards at the Staples Center.
Along with Gasol nearing his return, Kobe also seems ready to return with the perennial All-Star claiming that his ankle is fine on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
With Kobe and Gasol potentially back in the mix on Friday, the Lakers will be as close to full strength as they have been all season long. Hill may be done for the year, but Gasol’s return should help bolster the team’s frontline while improving the team’s chance of clinching a playoff spot in the Western Conference in the coming weeks.
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