PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Trail Blazers have waived veteran big man Pau Gasol, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Gasol, who had surgery on his left foot in May, signed with the Blazers in late July. He missed all of training camp and hasn't played in any of the team's first 15 regular-season games.
"The injury that I've been dealing with can take anywhere from 6-12 months to heal completely," Gasol said in a video posted to his Instagram account. "I underwent surgery in hopes that it would expedite my return but unfortunately in the last few days we have assessed that my recovery is going to take longer than we originally hoped for.
"When we signed my contract with the Blazers we knew this timeline was a possibility, so we agreed that the team could have the option to release me in order to have the flexibility to sign a player who would be able to help on the court right away, if need be," Gasol said.
The Athletic's Jason Quick reported that the team plans to keep the roster at 14 players and that a signing of another player is not imminent.
Wojnarowski reports that Portland and Gasol are working on the details of a coaching role for the future Hall of Famer. Gasol plans to stay in Portland to continue rehabbing his foot.
In his Instagram video, Gasol said he hopes to return to play in the NBA someday but is excited about a new opportunity with the Blazers this season.
"While I continue to recover in Portland, I am excited to, together with the Trail Blazers organization, explore how I can continue to contribute to the team from a different role, not yet defined," he said. "I am very grateful and flattered by their desire to find ways to continue to work together and I look forward to a good year with this great organization."
A six-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion, Gasol averaged 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 1,226 career games with the Grizzlies, Lakers, Bulls, Spurs, Bucks and Blazers.
Gasol paired with Kobe Bryant to win two NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010.
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