By CAPosts 08 April, 2021 - 12:00pm
Pau Gasol, during a training session with Barcelona.
Pau Gasol faces one of the most special challenges of his long career, his return to the courts after having undergone two operations on his left foot and having spent two years without competing. His debut with Barça, 20 years after he left to start his NBA career, will take place this Friday in the game against Bayern Munich at the Palau Blaugrana (21.00, DAZN). This is the last match of the regular phase of the Euroleague. Barça does not play anything because they secured first place last week on the Fenerbahçe court. Saras Jasikevicius, according to Pau, the doctors and the physical trainers, considers that it is the ideal opportunity for the center to evaluate his state of form and begin to acquire competition rhythm. Depending on how he responds, it is possible that Jasikevicius could also count on him for the Endesa League match that this Sunday (18.30, #Vamos) faces Barça and Real Madrid.
“Pau is fine, he is picking up the pace of training sessions ”, Jasikevicius said this Thursday. “He's doing better and he's happy here. And right now we are thinking of giving him a few minutes (against Bayern), but we don't know in what way, or how many minutes. We will make the decision in the next few hours. ”
A difficult recovery
Recovery from such a serious injury, the scaphoid fracture , has been extremely difficult. A series of adverse situations have come together, from that of Pau, 38 years when he was injured and 40 now, the wear produced by the 20 seasons competing at the highest level in the NBA and in the Spanish team, and the circumstances of the pandemic that have made his rehabilitation process difficult.
The last game Pau played was when he played with the Milwaukee Bucks, on March 10, 2019, and in it he faced precisely his previous team, the San Antonio Spurs. That day he played just over 14 minutes, scored 3 points and grabbed 3 rebounds. But it also confirmed the worst. His foot could not resist. In fact, he had been limping for most of the season. He started it with the Spurs, but from November 4 to December 31, 2018 he was already out. Conservative treatments did not have the desired effect and, as of February, his appearances were increasingly sporadic and limited in minutes of play. On March 3, 2019 he signed for Milwaukee, but could only play three games in a team in which, in addition to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Khris Middleton and company, also played Nikola Mirotic. Pau will now compete again alongside Mirotic, with whom, in addition to Milwaukee, he also played for three seasons in the Chicago Bulls and won, with the Spanish team, the 2015 Eurobasket and the bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Games .