Gasol ready to return for Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol will play in Thursday's game against the Miami Heat after sitting out the team's last five contests with a concussion.

Head coach Mike D'Antoni confirmed that Gasol has been cleared to return for Thursday's matchup, though he indicated the four-time All-Star will initially come off the bench. Earl Clark, who has started the Lakers' past three outings in Gasol's place, will continue in that role for the time being.

Gasol sustained his concussion in a loss to Denver on Jan. 6 and also missed eight straight games back in December due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

The 12-year veteran is averaging a career-low 12.2 points along with 8.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists over 25 games this season.