Lakers' Gasol has procedure on both knees
Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol will undergo a procedure on Thursday to address the tendonosis in both of his knees, the team announced Wednesday.
The procedure, known as the FAST (Focused Aspiration of Scar Tissue) technique, involves a probe being inserted into the knee that "directs ultrasonic energy to eliminate scar tissue without damaging healthy tissue," according to a team release.
Gasol also will receive stem cell injections next week and is expected to make a full recovery, the Lakers said. The four-time All-Star will return to basketball activities in approximately 12 weeks.
"After talking to several specialists, I'm going to proceed to regenerate both of my patellar tendons and working hard to get back to my 100%," Gasol wrote on Twitter.
Gasol, who will turn 33 in July, missed more games in 2012-13 because of injury (33) than during any season in his 12-year career.
"My knees are being an issue," Gasol said during the Lakers' first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs. "My patellar tendons are suffering."
Gasol said his left knee, which is the leg he jumps off, is hurting more than his right.
"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 added that he was suffering from calcification on the insertion of his patellar tendon in his knees.
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.
Gasol has one year remaining on his Lakers contract worth $19.3 million.
He acknowledged at his exit interview last week that he could have played his last game as a Laker.
"The future is uncertain," Gasol said. "There's no doubt about it. It's a possibility that I could be gone, and there's a possibility that I could stay. I don't know the exact percentages of it. But I'm prepared for either way."
Gasol's teammate Kobe Bryant publicly lobbied for the team to bring Gasol back next season.
"For me, it's a no-brainer," Bryant said. "We need [Gasol] to get to where we need to go. Like I said, it's not my money. I'm not the one who has to pay some of those penalties. But my vote would be to keep him here."
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