As the Lakers enter their fifth day of training camp, Pau Gasol stated on Wednesday that he has so far exceeded his expectations in his recovery.
“I thought I was going to be a little more limited,” Gasol said. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to practice fully at this point of the season. It has been good. The doctors have really encouraged me that everything looks really good and that I can go out there and do what I do so far it has proven to be correct.”
The 12-year veteran began running on the court three weeks ago and so far in training camp has been able to participate in individual drills and weight room workouts but has not taken part in any contact situations with others player or in the second practice of two-a-days.
He also stated that he does feel a little rusty, but that each day he is improving.
“A little bit for sure,” Gasol said. “I have shown that I am rusty. I am having way too many turnovers. I am still having to get a good feel for the ball and the game, but everyday I pick it up and improve. So I am very excited about my progression.”
With the time off from the Spanish National basketball team this summer as he rehabs from surgery, Gasol has had time to let his body relax and recover from the grind of an NBA season.
“(My body) feels refreshed mentally and physically both” Gasol said. “I needed that (break) for sure as both aspects are really important.”
Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni has also been impressed by the Spaniard’s progress at this point in time.
“Pau is way ahead of where I thought he would be coming back from surgery,” D’Antoni said. “He is playing really well and I think he feels good. He has done everything all the time and has been sharp.”
This past May Gasol underwent surgery to treat the tendonitis in both knees, which had bothered since the start of training camp last season. He missed 33 games last year largely in part due to persistent knees and foot issues.
Although the only limitations have been not participating in the second practice of tw0-a-day, Gasol is trying to transition his way back in form smoothly.
“(I’m) just day by day seeing how my knees react to a new amount of work.” Gasol said. “I am trying to pick it up everyday, push myself a little harder, do a little more and see how it reacts.”
Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Bob Garcia IV
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