Trail Blazers waive Pau Gasol as foot injury lingers

The Portland Trail Blazers have waived veteran forward Pau Gasol as a lingering foot injury has prevented him from playing basketball.

Gasol announced the decision on Wednesday.

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“As of today, I will no longer be a member of the Portland Trail Blazers players roster,” Gasol said. “The injury that I’ve been dealing with and for which I underwent surgery last May can take anywhere from six to 12 months to heal completely.

“I underwent surgery in hopes that it would expedite my return. But unfortunately in the last few days we have assessed that my recovery is going to take longer than originally hoped for.”

Gasol, Portland knew this was a possibility

Gasol said that he and the Trail Blazers realized when he signed that his injury could linger and agreed to an option that would allow the team to release him when he signed a one-year deal in the offseason.

He also announced that he will remain with the Trail Blazers in a yet-to-be-defined offcourt role, but that he plans to continue to rehab his injury with hopes of returning to the court.

A lingering foot injury prompted Portland to waive Pau Gasol (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
A lingering foot injury prompted Portland to waive Pau Gasol (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Gasol, 39, was limited to 30 games last season with the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. He underwent surgery for a stress fracture on his left foot on May 10.

Portland’s ailing frontcourt

His is one of multiple injuries that have hampered Portland’s frontcourt this season. Center Jusuf Nurkic is still recovering from a gruesome compound leg fracture suffered last March that is expected to continue to sideline him for a significant portion of the season.

Forward Zach Collins required surgery for a separated shoulder suffered in October and is also expected to be sidelined for several months.

On Tuesday, the Trail Blazers signed Carmelo Anthony to help fill the frontcourt void. He scored 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting in his debut with the team on Tuesday.

Gasol, an 18-year NBA veteran, has made six All-Star teams and won a pair of championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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