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Pau Gasol has no regrets about heavy summer workload

Pau Gasol reiterated on Monday that his sore right knee isn’t likely getting better this season.

He came to grips with that realization weeks ago, when the IT Band first started acting up in the knee area, and extended rest only eased the pain for a bit.

What’s tricky about the Gasol situation is how to deal with the minutes restrictions.

According to coach Fred Hoiberg, the 25 minutes per game that Gasol has been around since returning from the setback wasn’t set in stone, and could even be extended with a few weeks left in the regular season. What Hoiberg has been trying to figure out is how to space them out.

Gasol notoriously needs extended minutes in the first quarter because he tends to be a slow starter. When he does have a hot start like he did against the Hawks – scoring 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting – Hoiberg has little choice but to ride him out, and hope that it’s not a factor late in games.

Either way, Gasol seems tired of discussing the knee, and would just rather play and then see what happens.

“Great,’’ Gasol said sarcastically, when asked how he was feeling Monday. “Ahh, no. It is what it is. End of the season, everybody’s gonna be with aches and pains. It’s just a matter of how much.’’

One subject that Gasol is still very adamant about, however, is the idea that he should stop playing international ball in the summer, instead allowing his body to rest.

“My commitment to my national team is sacred, it’s holy,’’ Gasol said. “It’s something I take a lot of pride in. I never regret it. It’s just how you manage the loads.

“I don’t regret anything I do because I carry myself with a lot of commitment and professionalism. I’m totally fine with my decision.’’

Extended workload

Last season was almost a red-shirt year for Doug McDermott, not only because of a knee injury, but also being overwhelmed in making the jump from the college game to the NBA.

He played in his 72nd game of this season on Monday, however, and was averaging 23.1 minutes per game after getting just 8.9 minutes per game as a rookie.

“You know, he’s been really good,’’ Hoiberg said of McDermott. “I love the confidence that Doug is playing with right now.’’