Pau Gasol could possibly return to the court on April 1, when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Portland Trailblazers on April 1. Gasol, who is officially listed as probable, has been battling vertigo for more than a week.
Gasol felt dizzy and nauseated during halftime of the Lakers' 103-94 win against the Orlando Magic on March 23. He received immediate attention in the locker room and was transported to a local hospital by ambulance from the Staples Center and spent the night for observation.
"It was a nightmare," said Gasol, who has missed the Lakers' last four games because of the illness. "I was feeling terrible. Everybody that saw me, they felt bad because I was extremely pale. I was kind of shivering. I couldn't really move. I had three liters of IV fluid. I couldn't get up. I couldn't sit. They had to take me to the hospital on a stretcher. So, the whole experience was not pleasant."
While at practice on Monday, Gasol said that the incident was very “scary” and that he didn’t move much. He added that he was "Just really light-headed, dizzy [and in a] drowsy state for five to six days at home”.
Doctors still do not the cause of the vertigo but surmised that it could be related to the persistent upper respiratory infection that has plagued Gasol for much of the first half of the season.
Or, it simply could have been a new virus that caused the inner-ear infection that threw off his balance and brought on the vertigo.
Gasol wore a medicinal patch behind his left ear on Monday to help recoup his balance and has been visiting an ear, nose and throat specialist on a daily basis since being released from the hospital last week after an MRI on head came back normal.
The Lakers (25-58) are going through their worst season since 1959-60 season and went 2-2 without Gasol this time around. Gasol has missed 47, including 14 this season, games the past two seasons due to a variety of illnesses and the Lakers 19-28 in those games.
Gasol is averaging 17.5 points and 9.8 rebounds a game while shooting 48.1 percent from the floor. He is also averaging 3.3 assists and 1.5 blocks a game.
If Gasol does return tonight, he will likely take minutes from Chris Kaman. Kaman has played in only 38 games this season and averages 18.6 minutes of action but he had a huge game against Phoenix on March 30. Against Phoenix, he scored a season-high 28 points, on 13-of-19 shooting, and grabbed 17 rebounds while also dishing out six assists. Kaman is averaging 10.3 points and 5.9 rebounds a game.