Lakers head coach Frank Vogel put the injury in the “gross” category but gave the veteran big man props for going right back into the game.
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“They popped it right back in there on the spot, kind of gross, and he went right back in there to play, which was a gutsy move,” Vogel said. “It was pretty awesome to see him continue on like that and play through something like that.”
The TNT broadcast caught the moment the finger popped out in the third quarter as Gasol dove for a ball.
Following the game, the Lakers announced that Gasol suffered a volar plate fracture to his left pinkie finger, according to ESPN NBA reporter Dave McMenamin on Twitter. The injury makes him questionable for Saturday’s game against Utah.
Dr. Rajpal Brar of SB Nation broke down the injury a little more in-depth on Twitter following the announcement.
“Volar plate fracture typically means an avulsion fracture where a ligament on the underside of the finger chipped off a small piece of bone,” Brar, a doctor of physical therapy, wrote. “Pretty mild injury since it’s on Marc’s off-hand pinky.”
Gasol a Bright Spot in Loss to Celtics
Gasol was a bright spot for LA in the loss, scoring 18 points to go with four rebounds and three assists in just 21 minutes. Gasol — who had played just five minutes since April 6 prior to Thursday’s game — was seven-of-10 from the field and drilled a season-high four 3-pointers.
Despite the injury, Gasol was in good spirits after the game and was able to joke about it.
“Adrenaline helps,” Gasol said. “It’s my left hand. I don’t use it much anyways. So, we’ll see.”
Gasol’s role has been in flux since the Lakers signed Andre Drummond, who has taken over the starting center spot. Drummond sat out Thursday’s game due to a toe injury, opening the door for the big Spaniard to play more minutes.
Gasol has struggled at times this season but has stepped up lately when called upon, making a case for more minutes and a larger role. Gasol admitted it was a tough pill to swallow when Drummond was brought on but committed to moving forward with the Lakers in whatever role he’s given.
“I’ll stay ready. I’m going to tell you this: I’m fully committed to the team. I’ll stay ready when my number is called,” Gasol told reporters in an April 6 post-game press conference. “I understand we have to get Andre acclimated to what we’re trying to do. We have to get back our two main guys — Bron and A.D. whenever they come back — and they have to get that group going and get some chemistry going with the first unit for them. I’ll be ready no matter what happens. No matter if it’s five minutes, 10 minutes, if it’s whatever position. If it’s some nights, I might not play. But I’ll stay ready, no matter what. I made that commitment.”
Lakers Are Banged Up Heading Into Final Stretch
The health of the roster is a big concern for the Lakers heading into the final stretch of the season — and that’s beyond the big injuries to superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Drummond is limping with the bad toe, Markieff Morris is missing time with an ankle sprain, starting guard Dennis Schroder is dealing with a newly revealed foot infection and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has played the last two games while dealing with back spasms.
The team did reveal some good news on the injury front on April 15, noting that Davis could return as soon as this weekend from his calf strain and Achilles tendonitis. Davis has been sidelined since February 14.