My colleague Rich Hammond covered practice in my place today. He reports that Kobe Bryant was up all night treating his sprained ankle and will decide after Wednesday’s shootaround about playing against the Hornets. It sounds as if the Lakers dodged a bullet with Bryant’s injury, regardless of whether he misses a game or two. Bryant said he heard a pop in his ankle and initially feared that he would miss between two and three weeks.
The Lakers can afford to be cautious because the Hornets will be at anything but full strength. Bobby Jackson is out two weeks with a cracked rib. Peja Stojakovic is out with back spasms and David West is out with a forearm strain. That leaves them without three of their four leading scorers. Rasual Butler and Marc Jackson both find themselves in the starting lineup.
Seeing Bryant in the locker room late after Monday’s game, I would have bet against him playing Wednesday. He was limping for sure and almost dragging his right leg behind him. Yet Bryant still appeared in front of reporters in a suit and had a pair of dress shoes on. It was remarkable how polished he looked in that situation.