Lakers’ Pau Gasol (knees) to be sidelined 3 months after procedures
The Lakers announced Thursday that forward/center Pau Gasol will be sidelined from basketball activities for three months this summer after undergoing a procedure to treat tendinitis in both of his knees.
During the procedure, which was performed by Dr. Steve Yoon of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Group, a probe was inserted into Gasol’s knees, which directed ultrasound wavelengths to debride degenerated tissue of Gasol’s patellar tendons non-surgically.
Gasol will also receive autologous stem cell injections, which will stimulate regeneration of his tissue. The injections will be administered next week at Kerlan-Jobe by Dr. Yoon.
Gasol wrote on Twitter that the procedures were a success: “Everything has gone well! Now I’ll have to rest my knees and start with the rehab. Thanks everyone for your support!”
The FAST technique procedure — an acronym for Fasciotomy and Surgical Tenetomy — is described by the Mayo Clinic as “minimally invasive” with the goal of “removing tendon scar tissue quickly and safely without disturbing your surrounding healthy tendon tissue.”
Gasol, 32, averaged a career-low 13.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the Lakers this season while appearing in just 49 games, the fewest he has played in a season during his 12-year career. He missed time due to a torn plantar fascia in his right foot, a concussion and tendinitis in his knees that cost him a stretch of games in December.
The Lakers entered the 2012-13 season with championship expectations but finished No. 7 in the Western Conference with a record of 45-37 before getting swept by the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
ESPNLA.com reported that Gasol was still bothered by his knees during the postseason and that he was suffering from more than simple tendinitis.
“It’s more than tendinitis, it’s tendonosis,” Gasol said. “There’s a degeneration of the tissue, and it’s something that I’ve dealt with all year. So I’ll have to do something to regenerate the tissue so I don’t have to play with this pain.”
Gasol posted the following post-procedure image to Twitter on Thursday.
A three-month recovery timetable will allow Gasol to return to basketball activities in early August, well before training camp opens in the fall. The big question: Will he still be a member of the Lakers by then? With more than $19 million owed to him next season and the Lakers projecting to be well over the luxury tax line, Gasol is a possible candidate for the amnesty clause, which would remove his salary from L.A.’s books and tax obligations.