Pau Gasol has torn plantar fascia on right foot

Pau Gasol was diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia in his right

foot Wednesday, indefinitely sidelining the 7-foot Spaniard at a

key point in the Los Angeles Lakers’ belated rally to get in

playoff position.

Gasol felt a pop in his foot Tuesday night late in the Lakers’

92-83 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. An MRI in Boston revealed the

injury.

The Lakers (23-26) are losing Gasol right when their mostly

miserable season is starting to improve with six wins in seven

games, including three straight on their longest road trip of the

season. Los Angeles also played the last three games without

All-Star center Dwight Howard, who has a torn labrum in his right

shoulder, and top backup big man Jordan Hill is out for the season

with an injured hip.

”I’m hoping to recover asap so I can be back with the team and

keep fighting until the end of the season,” Gasol tweeted.

Gasol will fly to Los Angeles on Thursday to be examined by team

physician Steve Lombardo and foot specialist Kenneth Jung. The

Lakers announced they will give a timeline for Gasol’s return after

the examination, but the injury conceivably could keep Gasol out

for several weeks or more if he undergoes surgery to repair the

damage.

Gasol has been bothered by tendinitis in both knees and

fasciitis for at least two months, hindering his progress since

shortly after new coach Mike D’Antoni took over. The four-time

All-Star big man also missed five games in January with a

concussion, and Gasol largely has been coming off the bench for the

Lakers since then.

Gasol is averaging a career-low 13.4 points per game and 8.0

rebounds while playing in just 36 of the Lakers’ 49 games.

The Lakers finish their seven-game road trip with three games in

four days, starting Thursday in Boston and concluding Sunday in

Miami. Rookie center Robert Sacre is available to D’Antoni, and

Howard isn’t certain when he’ll return from an injury that’s

troublesome, but likely manageable.

Salary cap-strapped Los Angeles could sign a replacement for

Gasol after getting a disabled player’s exception last week for

Hill, who had season-ending hip surgery. But the pool of available

free-agent big men is awfully thin, including Lakers retreads such

as Troy Murphy and Brian Cook.