Pau Gasol's slow start linked to tendonitis

Kevork Djansezian

The Spaniard has a good reason for his lack of production in the season's early going.

Los Angeles Lakers' big man Pau Gasol has been playing through tendonitis in both of his knees, according to ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin. The Spaniard is averaging career-lows in points per game (13.4) and shooting accuracy (43.4 percent). The nagging injury has clearly influenced his on-court production.

"It was just something that started flaring up in the preseason," Gasol told reporters following Monday's practice. "I didn't want to stop, and I don't want to stop now. I just don't have that luxury."

The Lakers are 7-7 and are going through some challenging times as they adjust to recently hired head coach Mike D'Antoni's fast-paced offense and new player rotations. He benched Gasol in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last week in a dismal six-point, four-rebound performance. He was then thought to be in the doghouse with his new coach, who cited a desire to win the game as the reason for sitting the former All-Star.

Gasol has been relatively healthy over the last two seasons, playing in 65 of 66 games last year and all 82 games in 2010-11. He went on to state that he didn't think the current ailment would cause him to miss any games.

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