Pau Gasol: Vertigo bout 'scary'

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Pau Gasol is considered probable to play against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday for his first game action since suffering a bout of vertigo more than a week ago.

The Los Angeles Lakers big man recounted the "scary" experience Monday.

"Just really light-headed, dizzy, drowsy state for five to six days at home without really moving much," Gasol said. "Just laying (down). Let my system kind of readjust. Because it was scary. A scary moment for me and my family and the ones that love me."

Gasol left the Lakers' 103-94 win against the Orlando Magic on March 23 at halftime because of dizziness and nausea. The 13-year veteran received immediate medical attention in the locker room and was taken by ambulance from Staples Center to a local hospital for overnight observation.

"It was a nightmare," said Gasol, who has missed the Lakers' last four games because of the illness. "I was feeling terrible. Everybody that saw me, they felt bad because I was extremely pale. I was kind of shivering. I couldn't really move. I had three liters of IV fluid. I couldn't get up. I couldn't sit. They had to take me to the hospital on a stretcher. So, the whole experience was not pleasant."

The cause of Gasol's vertigo is undetermined. He does not believe that he was struck in the head against the Magic. Doctors surmised that it could be related to the persistent upper respiratory infection that plagued him for much of the first half of the season.

Or, it simply could have been a new virus that caused the inner-ear infection that threw off his balance and brought on the vertigo.

"They could only guess a couple things but nothing for sure," Gasol said.

Gasol, who has missed 37 games combined in the last two seasons because of a variety of injuries, said this was a unique ailment to have gone through.

"It was scary," Gasol said. "Luckily I'm a pretty calm person. I usually take things lightly for the most part. I don't react emotionally very easily, so that kind of plays in my favor. Because I don't dwell. I don't overthink. I don't think of the worse-case scenario. I don't get nervous. So that kind of helped me out. But a lot of things could have gone through my mind at that point where after a few hours, I couldn't really move. I couldn't really move my eyes even because it would make me nauseous or I would vomit and stuff like that."

Gasol did draw a parallel to five games he missed last season because of a concussion, however.

"There's certain symptoms that were similar to the concussion where you have a constant kind of headache, light-headedness, drowsiness," Gasol said. "Not so much the bother of the light and the noise as much, but similar to that experience that I suffered last year."

The 33-year old has been visiting an ear, nose and throat specialist on a daily basis since being released from the hospital last week after an MRI on head came back normal. He went through a non-contact practice Monday and will test how he feels at shootaround Tuesday to determine if he will play against the Blazers.

"We'll see how my body reacts when I get up tomorrow after the exercise today," Gasol said. "I would love to (play)."

Gasol wore a medicinal patch behind his left ear on Monday and continues to do treatment to recoup his balance.

"There's certain exercises that they force you to get dizzy, they force you to lose balance so that as you go through them more and more, you're supposed to get less dizzy because your brain and your balance system gets adjusted to it and the recovery time should be shorter," Gasol said. "So, it's something that I need to do on a daily basis and I have to repeat the exercises that actually make me dizzy and make me feel worse. So, that's just how it works I guess."

Gasol, who will become a free agent this summer, is averaging 17.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 blocks per game on the season.