In a letter he posted to his personal website, Lakers big man Pau Gasol announced Tuesday that he will not play for the Spanish national team at this summer’s Eurobasket competition in Slovenia.
Gasol underwent a FAST procedure last Thursday on both of his knees to eliminate a buildup of scar tissue, and the Lakers gave a 12-week timeframe for his return. With that in mind, it’s hardly a surprise that Gasol is choosing to forego his duties with his national team, although Eurobasket will take place from Sept. 4-22, about a month after his projected return date.
Gasol’s letter reads as follows and appears to be a rough translation from Spanish:
“To all the basketball fans: In order to avoid future problems, on May 9 I underwent a simple procedure to debride degenerated tissue of the patellar tendons of my knees non-surgically.
“After valuing the period of the rehabilitation, which I have already initiated, with my medical team of confidence, I sadly confirm that I won’t play in the next European Championship of Slovenia despite I wished it.
“My priority aim is to recover myself thinking in the next season and to be ready, if I’m asked to, for the next challenge with the national team, the World Cup of Spain 2014.
“Wishing the best for the Team in Slovenia.”
Gasol led the Spanish team to a silver medal at the London Olympics last summer, but since then his health has been shaky. He played in just 49 games for the Lakers in 2012-13, suffering from knee problems, a concussion and a torn plantar fascia.
Like his teammate Kobe Bryant, Gasol has turned to social media to update fans about his recovery, and he tweeted on Monday that he had begun his rehab that day. In a separate tweet, he linked to a photo of his knees covered in ice during his rehab session.