The Los Angeles Lakers were without Pau Gasol for the first of many games on Thursday night against the Celtics.

Gasol is expected to miss six-to-eight games after tearing the plantar fascia in his right foot against the Nets on Tuesday. Without Gasol, Los Angeles suffered a 116-95 defeat to the Celtics.

Gasol was nearly traded by the Lakers prior to the 2011-12 season in a deal that would have yielded Chris Paul and his name has been a fixture in rumors. Kobe Bryant, never an easy teammate to impress, has long been a supporter of Gasol and believes that maybe it has taken the big man’s most recent injury for the Lakers to appreciate him.

“Well, I think’s L.A.’s kind of seen how much we miss Pau and what he brings to the table and his skill set,” Bryant said. “Maybe now they’ll start appreciating him a little more.”

Following Thursday night’s loss, the Lakers are 5-9 without Gasol this season. The Lakers are 18-18 with Gasol in the lineup.

“Just try to figure it out systematically the way we’re going to attack things,” Bryant said of how the Lakers will play without Gasol. “We’re probably gonna, probably put [Earl] Clark in a lot of those positions that Pau did in terms of being a four, with his ability to stretch the floor and known down shots and handle the ball and make plays.”