As Kobe Bryant lingers around the Lakers’ practice facility receiving treatment on his strained and bruised right foot, Dwight Howard notices the Lakers’ star carrying a different demeanor.
“He’s a little down right now,” Howard said of Bryant, who missed Sunday’s practice so he could receive additional treatment on his foot. “He seems down because he can’t get out there and practice with us.”
It’s been exactly one week since Bryant injured his foot in the Lakers’ exhibition loss to the Sacramento Kings. Late in the third quarter, Bryant tripped over the foot of Sacramento forward Thomas Robinson while cutting through the lane. Bryant stayed in the game, but the pain in his foot worsened afterward. Since then, Bryant has missed four practices and the Lakers’ last two preseason games.
Will Bryant recover in time for the Lakers’ season opener Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks?
“I have my doubts,” Lakers forward Pau Gasol said. “He hasn’t been able to practice for six days. He’s been off that foot for six days. It’s no joke. I don’t remember the last time he took that many days off of exercising. It’s concerning.”
But after labeling his timetable as indefinite before sitting out the preseason games last Wednesday and Thursday, the Lakers now list Bryant as day-to-day.
“He’s making progress,” Lakers Coach Mike Brown said. “He’s not going backwards at all. It’s not like he’s staying the same.”
The Lakers offered no details on whether Bryant was reevaluated this weekend as planned. But Brown revealed that Bryant received an MRI on his foot at some point during his rehab process.
Gasol’s concern aside, Bryant’s other teammates in Howard, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace expressed optimism that Bryant will follow his storied history in playing through and managing extensive injuries.
“Every time he’s hurt, he always plays,” World Peace said. “We know him for that. The fans know him for that. I can see him definitely playing.”
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