LOS ANGELES (AP) -Pau Gasol returned to the Los Angeles Lakers' starting lineup Wednesday night despite still being slowed by a sprained left ankle that caused him to miss nine games.
Gasol was injured in the first quarter of a 108-98 loss to New Orleans on March 14. The Lakers were 5-4 in his absence after going 15-4 in his first 19 games after Los Angeles acquired him from Memphis.
``It's going to be sore, there's going to be pain,'' the 7-foot center said before the Lakers met the Portland Trail Blazers. ``I just have to deal with it and get over it.''
Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Gasol has been tentative in practice.
``We're hoping he can play 16 to 25 minutes, something like that,'' Jackson said. ``I think he's going to feel it out, see how he goes. It'll be up to him, how we play. He's moving pretty well.''

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Wizards vs. Lakers Prediction Will the Lakers cover as a sizable home underdog tonight when they host the Wizards at 10:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Nuggets vs. Trail Blazers Prediction Is the Nuggets and Trail Blazers matchup tonight going to be high-scoring at 10:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Warriors vs. Rockets Prediction Will the Warriors upset the Rockets as a rare underdog tonight when they visit Houston at 8:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Heat vs. Pistons Prediction Are the Heat a risky play tonight in Detroit where they'll take on the Pistons at 7:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Suns vs. Hawks Prediction Are the Suns a good underdog play tonight in Atlanta where they will take on the struggling Hawks at 7:30PM ET?

NBA Team Pages