Los Angeles Lakers center Marc Gasol will be out of Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns due to health and safety protocol, the team announced. The designation could mean that the veteran big man has tested positive for COVID-19, had an inconclusive test, or been contact traced to someone who has tested positive for the virus.
The Lakers are still one of three remaining NBA teams who have not had a game postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic as they inch closer to next week’s All-Star Break. Gasol, however, joins Lakers guards Alex Caruso, Dennis Schröder, and Alfonzo McKinnie as purple and gold players to miss game or camp time due to the health and safety protocols.
Gasol’s absence for Tuesday’s game against the Suns means that the Lakers will be without their entire starting frontcourt as Anthony Davis nurses an injured achilles tendon and calf. Montrezl Harrell could slot into the starting lineup or the Lakers could choose to start newcomer Damian Jones who made his debut in the second half against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. Jones, on a 10-day contract, is nursing a strained back but told the media that it is not a serious injury.
The Lakers play the Kings (in Sacramento) on Wednesday on a short turnaround so it may be safe to say that Gasol will miss that game as well and hopefully return for their first game after the break against the Pacers on March 12th.