Sports Out West

Pau Gasol injury: Lakers center calls vertigo case ‘scary’

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol has missed the last four games due to symptoms related to vertigo, and after Monday’s practice he revisited his “scary” experience, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

“Just really light-headed, dizzy, drowsy state for five to six days at home without really moving much,” Gasol said. “Just laying (down). Let my system kind of readjust. Because it was scary. A scary moment for me and my family and the ones that love me.”

Gasol initially experienced vertigo in the first half of the team’s 103-94 win over the Orlando Magic on March 23 as he did not leave the locker room after halftime as he dealt with dizziness and nausea in which he received three liters of IV fluids. He was transported after the game to a local hospital on a stretcher by ambulance where he stayed overnight as a precautionary measure.

The 33-year-old on Monday described the overall experience as a “nightmare” and one that was not pleasant given the fact that he was unable to move around without feeling nausea or dizzy. He also compared the symptoms to the concussion he suffered last season that forced him to miss five games in the aspect that he felt drowsiness and had a persistent headache.

There is belief that the vertigo may have been brought on by an inner-ear injection that occurred a few days prior to that game. Nonetheless, it adds to Gasol’s up and down season as he has missed 14 games due to a variety injuries that include three to an upper respiratory infection, seven to a strained right groin, and the last four due to vertigo.

Since being diagnosed last week with the illness and an MRI on his head coming back normal, Gasol has regularly visiting an ear, nose and throat specialist to further treat the symptoms. On Monday, the 13-year veteran took another step toward making his return to the court as he participated in non-contact drills and will use Tuesday Morning’s shootaround to gauge if he will be able to play against the Trail Blazers.

“We’ll see how my body reacts when I get up tomorrow after the exercise today,” Gasol said. “I would love to (play).”

Despite the persistent occurrence of injuries and ailments this season, the four-time All-star has remained productive as he is averaging 17.5 points and 9.8 rebounds in 31.5 minutes per game. This also encompasses 30 double-doubles with 29 double digit outputs of 20 or more points and 32 games of at least 10 rebounds recorded.

If Gasol is unable to play in Tuesday’s game expect Chris Kaman to once again fill his void in the starting lineup. In Sunday’s 115-99 win over the Phoenix Suns, Kaman lead the charge with a season-high 28 points and tied his season mark with 17 rebounds and six assists.

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.