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Pau Gasol injury: Lakers big man may come off bench

The Lakers may put Pau Gasol in a new role when he returns from injury.

USA TODAY Sports

Lakers power forward Pau Gasol has missed the team's last three games with tendinitis in his knee, but he may be returning soon. When he does, there is a possibility that he could come off the bench, according to The Sporting News. Gasol has started every game he has played since coming to Los Angeles.

The 12th-year veteran has taken a dip in effectiveness this season. His field goal percentage has dropped from 50.1 last year, to 42.0 in 2012-13. Gasol has also been playing fewer minutes and taking less shots overall for the Lakers..

Antawn Jamison has been in the starting lineup for the Lakers in Gasol's absence. Jamison's minutes haven't changed much in that span, as he saw his playing time increase in a Nov. 23 loss to Memphis.

Gasol could provide a nice scoring punch for Los Angeles off the bench, where he will play the opposing team's reserves more often. Either way, the Lakers need to do something to improve on their 9-11 start.