After spending six weeks on the sidelines with a Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) sprain in his left knee, Grizzlies' center Marc Gasol has been cleared for light court work. Gasol initially injured his knee during the first half of the November 22 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Early MRI's indicated no surgical procedures were necessary, and that Gasol would be out indefinitely.
When he did not need surgery, Gasol was ready for trainers to tape up his knee, put a brace on it, and let him back on the court. But team medical personnel made him aware that his sprain was more serious than he thought. Gasol had said when he planted his foot that Friday night, he "felt a pop," and knew something happened right away. Doctors were sure it was a sprain that night, and Saturday's MRI confirmed the diagnosis. Some of the tissue was "partially torn" as well, according to nba.com.
"They try to give me a week - three, four, six," Gasol said when asked of the recovery time the following Monday night. "I don't care what number they say, I told them as soon as I can put my foot down on the floor and I can walk, I'm going to rush it and speed the process."
He was to be on crutches for three to four weeks before beginning the process of returning to work.
This past Friday, Gasol had another MRI on his left knee as part of a follow-up procedure. The results were clean and the seven-foot center was cleared for light work, according to a tweet by beat writer Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal.
"@might_win_some any more rumblings about a possible Gasol return date?"Gasol's 6 wk MRI was good on Friday. Only cleared 4 light court work
— Ronald Tillery (@CAGrizBeat) January 5, 2014
Kosta Koufos took the court in place of the injured Gasol on November 22 and the Grizzlies have been struggling without their starter. The Grizzlies are 8-12 without Gasol starting since his injury. During the 2013-14 season, the seven-foot center has averaged 16 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists in 34.4 minutes played in 13 games. He hopes to return to game action as soon as possible.