MINNEAPOLIS -- The Los Angeles Lakers extended the expected return timeline for injured forward Pau Gasol on Tuesday. Gasol, who received a PRP injection to his strained right groin from Dr. Steven Yoon in Los Angeles on Monday, will now be sidelined at least two weeks, according to the team.
Gasol, originally expected to miss one week after aggravating his groin in the Lakers' 110-100 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats last week, did not accompany the Lakers on their three-game road trip through Minnesota, Cleveland and Philadelphia. He will now miss an additional three games at least -- at home against Chicago, Utah and Oklahoma City -- before being re-evaluated sometime during All-Star weekend.
The 13-year veteran averaged 20.8 points and 11.9 rebounds in January, despite the Lakers going just 3-12.
The Lakers and Phoenix Suns are currently entrenched in trade talks involving Gasol, according to ESPN.com. The Suns have expressed concern with Gasol's health, according to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne. The Lakers have one game between the All-Star break and the league's Feb. 20 trade deadline, at home against the Houston Rockets on Feb. 19, so if cleared, Gasol could theoretically prove his condition level in time for a deal to still be facilitated.
L.A., which welcomed Steve Blake and Steve Nash back to the starting lineup Tuesday in a 109-99 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, experienced another injury in the first quarter when Jodie Meeks suffered a sprained right ankle that ended his night prematurely.
X-rays on Meeks' ankle after the game were negative, however he is being ruled out for the final two games of the Lakers' road trip. The injuries didn't end there, with Blake suffering a ruptured right eardrum in the first half after accidental contact from Minnesota's Dante Cunningham.
Blake stayed in the game for the second half, however. Blake will be able to fly to Cleveland despite the rupture and will visit an EMT specialist on Wednesday to have it patched.
"I just remember getting hit really hard in my ear and everything went kind of hollow sounding," said Blake, who added that he suffered the same injury once before in a game and expects to play against the Cavs.
Hill could be available against Cleveland, but he was moving very stiffly in the locker room after the game.
"Jordan I think is more precautionary," said Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni. "They were just making sure with the stringent rules on concussions that they just didn't play him tonight."