Two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol has confirmed he is heading back to Barcelona, having earlier denied reports of a return to his former team.

Gasol started his career with Barca in the 1998-99 season before entering the NBA draft three years later, selected third overall by the Atlanta Hawks.

A storied stay in the United States followed, notably taking in a six-year stretch with the Los Angeles Lakers.

But Gasol has not played in the NBA since March 2019 due to a foot injury and was waived by the Trail Blazers later that year without playing a single game in Portland.

The center, now 40, has continued to discuss a potential return to action, with the suggestion of a move back to the Lakers mooted when Marc Gasol, his brother, signed for the team this season.

However, the idea of turning out for the Blaugrana once again had also appealed to Barcelona-born Gasol.

Responding to the reported move last week, Gasol wrote on Twitter: "I remain focused on my recovery and I am not ready to get back to competing just yet."

But he added he would announce any future news on his social media account, and Gasol had an update on Tuesday.

"I'm very happy to announce that I'm coming home and that I'll soon join the ranks of Barca's basketball team," Gasol said.

"I want to put my skills and experience at the disposal of the club at a key point in the season, while at the same time making progress in my physical condition and getting into the rhythm of competition.

"I'm happy to return to the club where I began, and I'm excited about this new opportunity: I hope to contribute to the first team very soon. I want to thank Barca and its technical staff for making it possible to join them."

Barcelona announced he has joined until June 30, stating on their website: "FC Barcelona is delighted that Gasol has decided to sign and return to the place that has always been his home. The club is pleased and honoured that Pau will be wearing the blaugrana colours once again."

The upcoming Olympic Games would appear to be a motivating factor in a move that seemingly ends the six-time All-Star's NBA career.

Gasol, the Rookie of the Year winner in his debut season with the Memphis Grizzlies, played 1,226 regular season games in the NBA, averaging 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.6 blocks and 0.5 steals.

His best scoring season brought 20.8 points per game in 2006-07, his final full campaign with the Grizzlies, although he was an increased threat on the boards later in his career, with 11.8 rebounds per game with the Chicago Bulls in 2014-15.

Between starring for Memphis and Chicago, Gasol joined Kobe Bryant on two title-winning teams in LA, although he first lost in the Finals shortly after joining the Lakers in 2008.

Gasol started all 46 playoff games across their successes in 2008-09 and 2009-10, having been named to the All-NBA Third Team in the regular season on each occasion.

The Lakers star then made the Second Team with 18.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game the following year.

Pau Gasol would like to his finish his illustrious career with former NBA team the Los Angeles Lakers or boyhood club Barcelona, describing the prospect as "attractive".

A foot injury has hampered two-time NBA champion Gasol, who has not played since March 2019 during his time with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Gasol suffered a season-ending foot injury during the 2018-19 campaign, waived by the Portland Trail Blazers in November without playing for the franchise.

The 39-year-old is hoping to represent Spain at the Olympic Games in 2021 and talked up the possibility of returning to either the Lakers or Barcelona.

"My intention is to play another season if the foot is OK, either in the NBA or in Europe," Gasol, who won two NBA titles with the Lakers, said.

"A final season with the Lakers is attractive, finishing at Barca is attractive, but you have to see the real possibilities and see what situation would be best for the circumstances of the moment."

Gasol – a six-time NBA All-Star and champion with Spain at the 2006 FIBA World Cup – added: "I'm feeling good. I've had more time to recover.

"When I can start running and jumping I will have a lot more information to know for sure if the foot and the bone are consolidated for me to be playing professional basketball again."

Gasol was the third pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, selected by the Atlanta Hawks but traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Spaniard spent seven years in Memphis before teaming up with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers for six years, up until 2014.

Stints with the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Bucks followed.

Gasol has averaged 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists during his time in the NBA.

Rafael Nadal is worried about his tennis future due to the extended break caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The ATP Tour has been suspended until at least July 13 due to the COVID-19 crisis, which has killed more than 211,600 people globally.

Nadal – who reached the Australian Open quarter-finals this year – last took to the court when he won the Mexican Open in February and the 19-time grand slam champion is concerned.

"Personally, there is a worry because when you pause your body in a drastic way it can be difficult to restart it," the 33-year-old said via Marca, as he spoke with Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol.

"I'm positive and I hope to recover and return well, but there's a big risk."

Former Los Angeles Lakers star and two-time NBA champion Gasol, 39, shared similar concerns.

Gasol suffered a season-ending foot injury during the 2018-19 campaign and has not played since, waived by the Portland Trail Blazers in November.

"I have a few years more on my body than him," said Gasol, who is still eyeing the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"I've not played for a year and two months because of my injury and my plan was to try to be ready for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

"But this has changed and there's a lot of uncertainty. I can just focus on the daily recovery work. This pause will have an effect, whether big or small. It'll be tough."

The Portland Trail Blazers waived Pau Gasol as the NBA veteran continues his recovery from a left foot injury.

Gasol suffered a season-ending injury before signing a one-year deal with the Trail Blazers in July, however, the two-time champion's rehabilitation has taken longer than expected.

The 39-year-old six-time All-Star, who played three games for the Milwaukee Bucks having arrived from the San Antonio Spurs last season, is reportedly in talks with the Trail Blazers over a coaching role.

"As of today, I will no longer be member of the Portland Trail Blazers roster," Gasol said in video released via his Twitter account on Wednesday. "The injury I am dealing with, for which I underwent surgery last May, can take anywhere from six to 12 months to heal completely.

"I underwent surgery in hopes it would expedite my return, but unfortunately we have assessed that my recovery will take longer than we originally hoped for.

"When we signed my contract with the Blazers we knew this timeline was a possibility, so we agreed the team could have the opportunity to release me in order to have the flexibility to sign another player who could help on the court right away. This will also allow me to fully focus on my recovery without the pressure of having the team waiting for my return."

Gasol – who won his two titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, while he also played for the Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls – averaged a career-low 3.9 points and 4.6 rebounds last season.

The Spaniard has averaged 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists over the course of his NBA career.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.