Marc Gasol injury: Grizzlies center will start against Thunder

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Gasol is back just in time to take on the Thunder.

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol will start Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder after being sidelined nearly two months with a sprained MCL, the team announced Tuesday.

Gasol, the NBA's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, has appeared in 13 games this season and is averaging a career-high 16 points and 4.3 assists per game. His usage rate (22.1) is also the highest of his career.

The 7-foot Spaniard anchored the NBA's second-best defense last season, and Memphis has struggled on that end of the floor in his absence this season. With Gasol, Memphis posted a 7-6 record to start the season. Without him, it is just 10-14 and currently out of a playoff spot.

This season, Memphis' defensive rating is 107, its worst mark since the 2009-10 season. That number should drop once Gasol gets some games under him.

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