With his feet in a bucket full of ice, Kobe Bryant could finally relax.
The Lakers’ star didn’t let his strained and bruised right foot sideline him from playing in the Lakers’ 99-92 season-opening loss Tuesday to the Dallas Mavericks. Nor did he allow the injury to temper his aggressiveness. Bryant posted 22 points on 11 of 14 shooting in 35 minutes by primarily driving to the basket.
Yet, once the game all ended, a harsh reality awaited him. The Lakers have another game Wednesday night at Portland, giving Bryant an immediate answer on how much his strained right foot will respond to the on-court wear and tear. How concerned is the Lakers’ star?
“A little bit,” Bryant said. “We’ll have to see how it feels.”
Granted, Bryant said his foot felt “80-85%”. Even if Bryant’s known to play through injuries, the Lakers’ star vowed beforehand not to take the floor if the pain would worsen. Bryant sounded well aware that he didn’t want to squander all of his offseason work in strengthening his body just for the sake of appearing in the Lakers’ season opener.
“I’m not going to play with an injury that will get progressively worse and limp through the season,” Bryant said. “I worked too hard for that.”
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