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Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Gasol (ankle) to miss at least next two games

ESPN.com news services

The Los Angeles Lakers' injury woes continue.

Pau Gasol was not at the Lakers' training facility on Wednesday, and coach Phil Jackson said the center will not play Wednesday night against Charlotte and is doubtful for Friday's game against Memphis. Jackson said Gasol, who has missed six games with a moderate left ankle sprain, hasn't had a setback but also "didn't improve between Saturday and today."

"It's swelling," Jackson told the Los Angeles Times. "Swelling creates soreness. I'm sure he'd like to be back and play [against] Memphis, but I don't know if that's a possibility or not. That's a pretty short order."

Center Andrew Bynum was also not seen at the training facility, but he continues to run on an anti-gravity treadmill and the team hopes he will return before the regular season ends April 15. Center Chris Mihm took part in individual drills with assistant coach Jim Cleamons but still isn't practicing, and forward Trevor Ariza did some light shooting but isn't expected to return before the postseason begins.

Jackson gave Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher the day off, partly to heal and partly because they saw extensive time in the Lakers' 123-119 overtime win Monday at Golden State: Odom played all 53 minutes, Bryant played almost 52 minutes and Fisher played almost 37 minutes, about 10 more than his season average. Fisher suffered a bruised knee after taking a charge with four seconds remaining in OT, while Bryant sprained his right ankle in the Lakers' 115-111 overtime loss Sunday to the Warriors.

"We're back to just kind of being ourselves, having a loose day, healing up," Bryant, who complimented Jackson, told the Times. "He's always been really great about that, understanding his players and what they need and making sure that they're physically ready to go. Today was a day for us to kind of relax and get off our feet."