Pau Gasol Will Regenerate Patellar Tendons During 2013 Offseason

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2013

Pau Gasol is preparing to get his Kobe Bryant on.

After visiting with several specialists, the four-time All-Star has decided to regenerate both of his patellar tendons over the offseason in hopes he will return to 100 percent.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com initially reported Gasol was considering having the procedure done in Germany.

The Los Angeles Lakers made the announcement official a short while after Gasol tweeted about it and made with the details.

Lakers announce Pau Gasol will have a procedure on his knees Thursday to eliminate scar tissue through an ultrasonic energy probe

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 8, 2013

The Lakers star missed ample time during the regular season because of tendinitis in his knees, and the ramifications of his internal abrasions were evident in his performance.

Pau averaged just 13.7 points on 46.6 percent shooting in 49 games for Los Angeles, all of which were career lows. His play improved considerably, however, during the Lakers' disappointing playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs, where he averaged 14 points, 11.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists on 48.1 percent shooting per game.

Following Los Angeles' postseason exit, though, the forward was very candid in his admittance that he was "not healthy," ultimately prompting him to decide in favor of regenerating his tendons.

If the latest sounds familiar, that's because it is.

Kobe underwent Orthokine therapy in Germany in 2011 and was supposed to have it again this past offseason, but he opted against it because he felt good enough to play on without it.

Gasol's procedure is slightly different than Kobe's, intended to get rid of scar tissue in order to regenerate the knee to optimal health.

The procedure Pau is undergoing is called the FAST Technique and is supposed to eliminate scar tissue without harming healthy tissue

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 8, 2013

Though the concept of Gasol having to regenerate anything isn't likely to instill much optimism, the idea of him returning to his "100 percent" should.

According to SheridanHoops.com's Mark Heisler, the Lakers have made bringing Gasol back to the team for next season "Plan A." The prospect of him regaining his 2010 form (or coming close to it) is something to become enamored by.

Going on 33 years old, Gasol isn't at the point of his career where he is considered dead weight. He had moderate success and logged more than 36 minutes a night in the playoffs when he wasn't close to healthy, so he's not a lost cause.

Also, consider how a now-34-year-old Kobe responded after taking his trip to Germany (should Pau ultimately go there). Before rupturing his Achilles, the Black Mamba was averaging 27.3 points in 38.6 minutes of burn per game.

The hope for Gasol should then be that this regeneration will serve as his fountain of youth, much like Kobe's treatment did for him. And hey, all these German procedures appear to work wonders on anyone not named Andrew Bynum or Alex Rodriguez.

It's not yet known how long the recovery time for Gasol will be, much of which is dependent on how the knee responds to the procedure.

The timeline for Pau's recovery will be announced after the procedure

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 8, 2013

As Gasol notes, it's not going to be easy to get back to where he was.

That he has this option, however, is encouraging and hopeful—both of which were foreign concepts to Gasol and the Lakers for much of this past season.

 

*All stats in this article were compiled from Basketball-Reference unless otherwise noted.