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Grizzlies Marc Gasol sprains ankle, could miss start of season

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UPDATE 11:42 am: X-rays on Gasol’s ankle came back negative, so there is no serious damage. That’s good news, now it’s just a matter of healing and pain tolerance.

No word yet on if he plays Wednesday, may be a game time decision.

10:59 am: Wednesday night, when the Grizzlies open the season against the Hawks, center Marc Gasol may have to sit it out.

Gasol suffered a high ankle sprain in practice Sunday, stepping on the foot of Hasheem Thabeet, according to the Commercial Appeal. He got ice and treatment, but it won’t be until later Monday until the full extent of the injury is known (after an MRI).

However, high ankle sprains are the more serious variety, which can linger for a week or more.

It’s a blow to a Grizzlies team that comes in on a high. They surprised everyone with a 40-win season last year then seemed to step up their play in the preseason, going 8-0. They start the season talking of playoffs, of being a team to fear. Gasol, anchoring down the middle, was a key part of that.

One ankle sprain that could cost a few games does not change that. But it is deflating.