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Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol almost played in the Rio Olympics

Marc Gasol is progressing well from his injured foot

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies were riddled with injuries during the 2015-16 season. The Grizzlies were forced to play nearly 30 players. One of those injured players was Marc Gasol. Gasol’s injured foot caused him to miss the final two months of last season, and forced him to sit out the Rio Olympics.

The good news for Memphis fans is that Gasol’s foot is progressing well. When will the Grizzlies center return? Hopefully soon. Apparently, he almost played in Rio.

Here’s an update on Gasol:

Gasol in L’Esportiu, as translated by Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype:

On his foot injury:

“I’m really well and looking forward to starting (the season). I miss the competition, playing and enjoying basketball. All indications are that the foot is fine. I’ve practiced with the (Girona basketball club) juniors all I could, especially half-court sets.”

On almost making it to the Olympic Games:

“I was a couple of weeks away.”

After hurting his foot, it seemed highly unlikely Gasol would play in the Rio Olympics. It’s encouraging to see the progression he has made in the offseason.

This would be huge for Memphis if Gasol’s foot is healthy as it seems. The Grizzlies’ window for winning is still open due to the fact they re-signed Mike Conley and signed Chandler Parsons this offseason. However, outside of Conley, Gasol is the most important piece for Memphis. The key to winning is centralized around Gasol with his ability to score and play defense. If healthy, Gasol is in conversation as one of the NBA’s best centers.

Last season, the Grizzlies went 30-22 with Gasol in the lineup, but they suffered a losing record of 12-18 when he went down with injury.