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Lakers' Gasol expects to return Thursday

The SportsXchange

Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol went through 3-on-3 drills Wednesday, and said afterward he expect to play in Thursday's game against the Miami Heat, ESPNLosAngeles.com reported.

Gasol has missed the past five games because of concussion suffered Jan. 6 against the Denver Nugget. He said he expected to be cleared by doctors Thursday morning.

"I feel better and tomorrow I'll be a go," Gasol said, according to the report. "I guess I have to ease my way back into it because this is the first day I've actually got some good work done on the court. After a week and a half of inactivity, your body needs a certain amount of time to get back out there and perform at your best."

There is some question whether Gasol will return as a starter or come off the bench.

"We're talking about it," Gasol said. "We're talking about it with the head coach and the head trainer. I would always like to start and play 40 minutes, but that's probably not the best thing right now."

Gasol is averaging 12.2 points and 8.4 rebounds this season.

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