As the Lakers went through new elements of their revamped offense, Kobe Bryant stayed on the sidelines. He watched his teammates play. Bryant received treatment on his strained and bruised right foot.
It’s all the Lakers’ star really could do as he missed Saturday’s practice, marking the third session he missed this week because of his foot injury. The Lakers have still listed him as indefinite. It’s still uncertain whether Bryant will play in the Lakers’ season opener Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks. Thus far, Bryant has missed three practices and two preseason games since injuring his foot in the Lakers’ exhibition loss Sunday to the Sacramento Kings.
Does Lakers Coach Mike Brown believe Lakers trainer Gary Vitti will clear Bryant to play?
“It would surprise me if he didn’t play just because of how tough he is,” Brown said. “But that’s not coming from Gary, because I have not asked Gary. He’s a stud, mentally and physically.”
Bryant’s appeared spry in six preseason games, averaging 20.4 points on 50% shooting in 26.8 minutes. But the Lakers’ star has had to monitor his injuries closely. Bryant missed a double session the fourth day of training camp because of a bruised right foot. Bryant sat out of the Lakers’ second preseason game because of a punctured right shoulder that has since healed. He also skipped the Lakers’ last two exhibitions because of his latest injury. That mishap stemmed from tripping over the foot of Sacramento forward Thomas Robinson while cutting through the lane with about 3:25 left in the third quarter of the Lakers’ exhibition Sunday against the Kings.
Meanwhile, the Lakers ended their preseason with an 0-8 record and only had one exhibition that featured the team’s entire starting lineup.
“Knowing Kobe, I think he’ll play because he plays through so much historically,” Lakers forward Pau Gasol said. “He wants it as much as anybody. But I think it is a little weird that he’s been out for this long and he’s showing that he’s in pain. So we’ll see. Hopefully the therapist will help him out. He’s a trooper.”
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