Kobe ailing, but expected to play

ATLANTA — Neither a sprained right ankle nor an upset stomach was expected to keep Kobe Bryant from playing today against the Atlanta Hawks. Bryant injured his ankle late in Friday’s victory over the New Jersey Nets. He underwent treatment on his ankle Saturday, but fell ill this morning and was unable to attend a team meeting, according to Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

“As far as I know he is (playing), but I haven’t talked to him,” Jackson said this morning. “He wasn’t at the team video brunch session. He wasn’t feeling well. So I haven’t talked to him. But our crack trainers have assured me he can play. I’m not going to speculate on what it was, but it could have been a reaction to whatever kind of medicine he was taking for the swelling and soreness.”