The Lakers' injuries keep coming, as if anything's really surprising anymore.
Pau Gasol was the latest to receive bad MRI exam results and was expected to miss at least a week because of a strained right groin, the Lakers said Saturday.
He won't be available for their three-game trip to Minnesota, Cleveland and Philadelphia, which means the Lakers might be 20 to 25 games under .500 when Kobe Bryant returns from a fractured knee.
Or, it should be said, if Bryant returns from a fractured knee this season.
The Lakers (16-31) are going nowhere, so two important dates have rocketed to the top of their bedraggled mess.
Their misery ends April 16 in San Antonio (73 days from now). Then the draft lottery takes place May 20.
Gasol is merely the latest to land on the injured list, joining Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry.
He initially suffered the injury Tuesday against Indiana and aggravated it Friday in the Lakers' 110-100 loss to Charlotte.
"I'm trying to play through it and I've been playing through it, trying to do my very best because I don't like to let my team down when things are not going the right way," Gasol said after scoring 24 points against the Bobcats.
The Lakers did not practice Saturday, but Gasol would be replaced by Jordan Hill, Robert Sacre or seldom-used Chris Kaman.
Kaman has been a curious case since signing a one-year, $3.2-million deal with the Lakers last July.
He became a forgotten man in Coach Mike D'Antoni's rotation and complained about playing time on a couple of occasions. He is averaging 8.1 points and 5.4 rebounds, and hasn't played since logging six minutes Jan. 17 against Boston.
Gasol started the season incredibly slowly but improved his numbers last month, averaging 20.8 points and 11.9 rebounds. He scored 20 or more points in his last 10 games, the longest such streak of his career.
His defense is sometimes lacking but he represents the Lakers' only legitimate scoring threat down low.
The groin injury probably resulted from a strained toe tendon in Gasol's left foot, an injury that surfaced three weeks ago. Gasol said the tape job on his toe might have caused him to transfer his body weight in an unusual manner.
"One thing is leading to the next one," he said.
Johnson still silent
Magic Johnson is keeping his word. For now.
After continually ripping Lakers executive Jim Buss and D'Antoni in interviews and on Twitter, Johnson vowed to stop criticizing the Lakers because "it doesn't do the Lakers players, coaches or ownership any good for me to complain."
His Twitter feed Friday and Saturday was mainly about a '70s theme party. And he congratulated Michael Strahan and Ray Guy, his "favorite punter," for making it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame among a group of new inductees.
Twitter: @Mike_BresnahanCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun