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Pau Gasol sidelined indefinitely with tear in his right foot

By Mike Bresnahan

3:47 PM PST, February 6, 2013

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Lakers forward Pau Gasol will be sidelined for an indefinite period after sustaining a tear of the  plantar fascia in his right foot.

Gasol suffered the injury in Tuesday's game against Brooklyn.

Gasol had an MRI in Boston Wednesday on his right foot and will fly back to Los Angeles on Thursday for further evaluation by Lakers team doctor Steve Lombardo and foot specialist Dr. Kenneth Jung. The plantar fascia supports the arch of the foot.

The Lakers said a timetable for Gasol's return will be issued after Thursday's exam.

The Lakers play the Boston Celtics on Thursday, the fifth game of seven on their annual Grammy Awards trip.

Gasol has been bothered throughout this season by painful swelling in the foot typical of plantar fasciitis, and he aggravated it earlier in Tuesday’s game.

Gasol said he felt a pop in the foot after jumping to block a shot by Nets center Brook Lopez with 4:23 to play. He stayed down on the court for several seconds and remained in the game after a 20-second timeout but started limping after trying to run. He headed for the locker room with 3:52 to play.

“I’m worried about it,” he said after the Lakers’ 92-83 victory. “I never felt anything like I did tonight.”

Kobe Bryant, a longtime proponent of Gasol, said he was “very, very concerned” about the severity of the injury.

Gasol is averaging 13.4 points and eight rebounds this season, coming off the bench for six games until Dwight Howard reinjured his shoulder last week. Gasol has missed several games this season — eight because of tendinitis in his knees and five because of a concussion.

Howard has sat out the last three games and remains day-to-day because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Without Howard and Gasol, the Lakers were forced to use power forward Earl Clark at center in the final minutes against the Nets. The only other healthy big man on Lakers’ roster was rookie Robert Sacre.

Reserve center-forward Jordan Hill underwent season-ending hip surgery last month.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

Twitter:@Mike_Bresnahan

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