Pau Gasol 'unlikely' to return this season

LOS ANGELES -- After missing seven of the last eight games because of symptoms stemming from a bout of vertigo, Lakers forward Pau Gasol conceded that his season may be over.

"It's unlikely," Gasol told ESPNLosAngeles.com following the Lakers' 145-130 loss to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday when asked if he would play in any of the four remaining games this season. "But, I want to."

Gasol said he was still undergoing therapy, including an exercise where he rapidly circles his neck to intentionally make himself dizzy to train his body to be able to return to a stable state. He is being re-evaluated on a daily basis by the team’s medical personnel.

Two of the four final games are at home -- Friday against the Golden State Warriors and Sunday against Gasol's brother Marc and the Memphis Grizzlies. Even if he does not suit up, the Staples Center crowd is sure to give Pau Gasol a warm ovation on Sunday to thank the veteran big man for his contributions to three straight NBA Finals runs and two championships after being acquired at the trade deadline in 2008.

If Gasol is unable to play before the season ends, he could have very well played his last game in a Lakers uniform. The 33-year-old is set to become a free agent this summer and made it clear that his top priority is signing with a team capable of competing for a championship. The Lakers (25-53) are in the midst of the worst season in franchise history and the process of rebuilding, with 11 of their 15 players (including Gasol) on expiring contracts.

Gasol has averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 blocks in 60 games played this season.