The NBA off-season came earlier than expected for the Los Angeles Lakers, and as the team prepares for the future, they've been hit with yet another injury woe as one of their biggest names will undergo a corrective procedure in the coming days.
According to reports, two-time NBA champion forward Pau Gasol has tendonosis in both knees and will undergo a procedure known as the FAST (Focused Aspiration of Scar Tissue) Technique, which involves a probe being inserted into the knee which "directs ultrasonic energy to eliminate scar tissue without damaging healthy tissue," according to a team release.
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Gasol will be operated on by Dr. Steven Yoon as the seven-footer battled several injuries throughout the 2012-13 season.
Gasol, who turns 33 in July, missed majority of the 2012-13 season because of injury (33) than during any other season in his 12-year career.
The four-time All-Star averaged 13.7 points on 46.6 percent shooting this season, both career lows, along with 8.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. He finished the season on a high note, however, registering three triple-doubles in his final seven games.
Throughout the season Gasol has been rumored to have been on the trading block the entire season, with the Lakers being interested in bringing a younger, more athletic player to fit coach Mike D'Antoni's spread offense. Instead the Lakers will plan to keep both big men, play slow and attack the basket with aggressive post plays, exactly the way they did in their 28-12 finish this season.
During all the trade speculation, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak made him no promises to bring him back, but according to guard Kobe Bryant, he's the one who put in a pitch for Kupchak to keep Gasol.
With Gasol wrapped up for next season, questions surround center Dwight Howard continue to loom, but according to Bryant's beliefs he feels Howard will re-sign because to him it makes the most sense form a "business standpoint."
"I think Los Angeles is the perfect spot for him to assert himself, kind of put his foot down and have his career really take off and be what it should be. There's no greater place for centers to play than here in Los Angeles," he said.
"From a business standpoint it makes more sense, both contractually and also perception-wise. A lot of things go well for you if you win here."