Just more than a month after tearing his plantar faschia, Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol was medically cleared to begin running on Thursday, according to the L.A. Daily News' Mark Medina. Gasol, who tore his plantar faschia on Feb. 5 in a game against the Brooklyn Nets, ditched the crutches on Feb. 26 and is still expected to be at least a few weeks away from returning.
Gasol was expected to miss six-to-eight weeks with the injury. The forward experimented with Twitcam on Thursday and said that he had "minimal discomfort" in his foot after running. He added that he put about 75 percent of his body weight on his right foot, and that the workout was "encouraging."
The good news for the Lakers came a day after a stunning come-from-behind win against the New Orleans Hornets. Gasol traveled with Los Angeles for a two-game trip that included a 122-105 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday and the 108-102 win at New Orleans on Wednesday. Medina reports that Gasol was working with Lakers trainer Tim DiFrancesco during the trip.
Gasol's return would be of help to Los Angeles' depth-less frontcourt that is seeing more inspired play from Dwight Howard of late.
The Lakers are currently 1.5 games back of the eighth-seed Utah Jazz in the Western Conference standings. At 31-31, Los Angeles has won 11 of its last 16 games.