The Los Angeles Lakers have been in somewhat of a panic since SG Kobe Bryant went down with an ankle injury this week. The Lakers did get some good news, however, as it just came out that PF Pau Gasol will be returning to the team ahead of schedule. Gasol was struggling earlier in the season, but he could be a valuable pickup with the fantasy basketball playoffs starting at the end of the month.
Gasol has been out since February 5th with a plantar fascia tear in his foot. The original prognosis was that he would be out six to eight weeks, but he has rehabbed hard and wants to get back to action as early as Sunday.
It has also come out that Gasol will be back in the starting lineup when he returns next week. The absence of Bryant will leave the team with a huge void offensively, so head coach Mike D’ Antoni will need as many weapons on the floor as possible. Gasol is still averaging 13.4 points per game this year and the forward can give the team another reliable scoring option in the paint.
Gasol may have been benched prior to his injury due to a lack of production, but the big man will be looking for a fresh start when he returns. Gasol has always been a guy that averaged 10-plus points with 10-plus boards, so he could become a superstar waiver wire addition if he can get back to those numbers.
Gasol was added in 7,904 Yahoo leagues on Thursday alone, so don’t wait too long to pick him up. If for some reason Gasol is still on the waiver wire in your league, take a shot on the four-time NBA All-Star.