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Report: Marc Gasol suffered Grade 2 MCL sprain and is out indefinitely

Nov 23, 2013, 1:39 PM EDT


We had an inkling this would be bad.

In a loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, Memphis Grizzlies big man Marc Gasol clutched his left knee and suffered what appeared to be a non-contact injury. Those types of injuries can be awfully scary, and the fears of it being serious were only amplified when Gasol failed to return to the floor.

According to Sam Amick of USA Today, word is that Marc Gasol has suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain.

This is bad news for the Grizzlies, to be sure, but it could have been much worse. As we’ve seen, an ACL tear can sideline players for up to a full year, and it’s a good sign that Gasol won’t need surgery to repair his knee.

Of course, it’s the “out indefinitely” part that is the most troubling, but we can reasonably predict a time frame in which Gasol will return.

New Orleans Pelicans center Greg Stiemsma, a player with a similar body type to Gasol, recently suffered a Grade 2 MCL Sprain and was diagnosed to miss 6-8 weeks. That’s obviously a big chunk of the regular season, but Gasol should be back in plenty of time for the playoffs, provided the Grizzlies can survive without him.

The question is, can they? Gasol is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and we know about his contributions on that end, but he’s also the key cog in Memphis’ offense. Gasol’s distributing ability at the high post is unparalleled, and this will undoubtedly cause rookie head coach Dave Joerger to have to change some things.

Gasol was averaging career-highs in points and assists per game early on this season, and the Grizzlies looked primed to storm back from a slow start with a home-heavy slate of games on the horizon.

While the starting job will almost certainly fall to Kosta Koufos in Gasol’s absence, Ed Davis should also have a much larger role as well.

Koufos is averaging 12.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per 36 minutes this season, and he’s looked good next to both Gasol and Zach Randolph. He’s a more skilled player than he gets credit for, but it’s obviously still a massive downgrade in that department from Gasol.

Randolph will have to assume more of the scoring responsibility, but he’ll have less space to work without Gasol spreading the floor and providing perfect entry passes.

Davis has played just 12 minutes a game this season, which may have been part of the plan to keep him under wraps and not let his value get too high in restricted free agency this offseason. With Gasol likely out somewhere in the range of 6-8 weeks, the Grizzlies won’t be able to hide Davis any longer.

While it’s important to remember that every body is different and recovery times can vary wildly player to player, it sounds like we’ll see Gasol back in action in early 2014. We’ll see if the Grizzlies can hold on to a playoff spot without him.

  1. buttfumbles - Nov 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Damn, this has been the season of injuries to key players so far.

  2. maracineanu16 - Nov 23, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    At least Marc doesn’t need a surgery. Get well, big fellow

  3. jimsjam33 - Nov 23, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    I’m a Clipper fan and this guy has killed us the last two seasons , That being said I’m a basketball fan first and I NEVER want to see a player hurt or injured . Marc Gasol the game will miss you while you’re gone . Hurry up and get well . The NBA needs it’s ” Defensive Player of the Year ” back as soon as possible .

    • stretchifycom - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:43 AM

      that’s the spirit jim! Thumbs up! As for the injury.. our stretching expert proved that an MCL Sprain Grade I can be fixed in less than two weeks with no drugs rest.. check his project:

  4. jeffkx - Nov 23, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    The Cavs can trade you Andy Varejao. We are going to win 25 games with or without him.

  5. jerdogthompson - Nov 24, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    I recall a play in the 2011 playoffs against my Clippers where Gasol went down trying not to get Mozgoved by BG and extended his legs to interfere with Blake’s landing. That’s the play I feel caused BG to have knee surgery in the offseason. That being said, I feel despite being a talented player he is a filthy Spaniard and guess what Karma is a Bizatch.

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