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Rumor Central: Will Marc Gasol be cleared to play by start of season?

The Memphis Grizzlies open the preseason Monday against the Orlando Magic, and one player who won't see any game action is starting center Marc Gasol. Last month during the EuroBasket tournament, Gasol sprained his left ankle while playing with Spain's national team and it still needs time to fully heal.

"We're still recovering the ankle. We want to be back at 100 percent," Gasol told The Commercial Appeal. "We don't want any setbacks. It's hard to put a percentage on it, but we're improving. We're happy with progression."

Gasol, entering his 10th season in the NBA, has only participated in some noncontact drills during the first week of training camp. The team doesn't think Gasol's ankle will be an issue moving forward and expects him to be ready when the Grizzlies tip off the regular season Oct. 18.

"We're just being cautious. Right now, it doesn't count," head coach David Fizdale said. "We'll get him cranked up midweek. We're taking our time with him and working with (the ankle) in a way so that when the season hits, he'll make full strides."

Gasol appeared in 74 games last season and averaged 19.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.

-- Nick Silva

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