Gasol optimistic of recovering for European Championships

Spain's Pau Gasol looks at his injured finger during a news conference in San Fernando, southern Spain, August 11, 2009.

MADRID, Aug. 11 -- Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol is optimistic he will be able to play for his country in next month's European Championships to be held in Poland.

The power forward, who recently played a huge part in the LA Lakers winning the NBA title, damaged ligaments in the index finger of his left hand whilst Spanish team's training on Monday.

He underwent an operation immediately and now it is in the balance whether or not he will recover for Spain's first match on September 7.

Gasol will not have his stitches removed for two weeks and must keep his hand immobile for a further week, leaving his participation in the balance.

Nevertheless in a press conference held at the Spanish training camp on Tuesday, Gasol said he believed he would recover in time.

"My intention is to stay here with my companions and to use up all of the options I have to travel to the European Championships," said Gasol, who was a key part of the Spanish side crowned world champion in 2006 and claiming silver medals in the 2007 European Championships and the 2008 Olympic Games.

"The first thing that I have to do is recover well and hope that the wound heals and scars over quickly. My aim is to be competing in the Championships and I see no reason why I will have to leave the squad," added the Spaniard.

Gasol also explained the reaction of his club on hearing of his injury.

"Obviously they were not pleased, but they understand there are risks in this sport and I don't think they'll give me any problems," he said.