Kobe Bryant say there’s “85%” chance he’ll play in season opener

As he sat on a trainer’s table adjacent to the practice courts, Kobe Bryant appeared in high spirits.

Part of that had to do with his strained and bruised right foot that’s kept him out for five practices and two preseason games in the past week.

“I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Bryant said.

Is it good enough to play?

Bryant says there’s a “85 percent” chance he will appear in the Lakers’ season opener Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks. Should he play, Bryant said he will wear thicker soles in his shoes.

Although he wasn’t limited in any fashion during the team’s shootaround, Bryant doesn’t want to take chances. He wants to see how his foot responds this afternoon after running, Brown estimates, for 45 minutes. Then, the Lakers’ training staff will determine whether they’ll clear Bryant to suit up.

“If not, it’s one of those injuries that you can play through and heal as you play,” Bryant said. “If it does get worse, you can’t go.”

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Kobe Bryant provides foot update via Facebook

The persistent questioning regarding Kobe Bryant’s status for the Lakers’ season opener tonight against the Dallas Mavericks never actually involved the source.

That’s because Bryant hasn’t talked to reporters since last Tuesday, leaving it to Coach Mike Brown and teammates to provide insight on Bryant’s strained and bruised right foot. Until now.

The Lakers’ star took to his Facebook page, where he acknowledged his uncertainty on whether he’s healthy enough to suit up.

“Getting stronger,” Bryant wrote. “Not sure what it means for tomorrow night just yet but it’s much better than it was a week ago when I could barely walk. I hate not practicing. It drives me crazy! The training staff has been great. Mr. Laker, Gary Vitti, and the great Judy Seto (the first female trainer in the NBA) have been working their magic.”

Bryant’s injury stems from tripping over Sacramento forward Thomas Robinson while cutting into the lane in the Lakers’ exhibition loss Oct. 21 to the Kings. Bryant stayed in the game, finishing with 21 points on 6 of 12 shooting. But Bryant’s foot worsened afterwards. He seemed in a dour mood last Tuesday, conceding his foot felt “pretty sore.”

Since the injury, Bryant has missed five practices and two preseason games. During Monday’s session, Bryant received treatment on his foot on a trainer’s table placed on the side of the court so he could watch practice. He’d occasionally stood up to offer feedback. In between one drill, Bryant talked at length with Lakers Coach Mike Brown.

Bryant hasn’t missed more than nine games over a full season since the 2004-05 campaign.

“I will know more after shoot around tomorrow am,” Bryant said. “It’s still painful to raise up on my toes but, it’s strong. The decision to be made is whether the injury can heal while playing on it or if it will make it worse. Either way, I’m excited about the start of the season. Hopefully we can win a game or two finally ;-).”

I’ll be at shootaround with the latest on Bryant’s foot injury. Be sure to visit our Lakers blog for daily updates.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter.

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Mike Brown sets no limitations on Dwight Howard

When assessing his health, Lakers center Dwight Howard compared his surgically repaired back to a house.

“I have the foundation and the walls are up,” said Howard, who appeared in two preseason games averaging 14 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and five turnovers in 28.5 minutes. “But there’s no carpet on the floor and no heating.”

Still, Brown said that he won’t put any minute limitations on Howard. Barring any setbacks, Brown also plans to play Howard in the Lakers’ first set of back-to-back against Dallas (Tuesday) and at Portland (Wednesday).

“I’m sure teams will do their best to go at me on both ends of the floor,” Howard said. “My back is strong enough. It’s not about strength at this point. It’s about how long can the muscles around my back last without getting fatigued.”

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Lakers divided on whether Kobe Bryant will play in season opener

The Lakers can’t agree on the nagging question that follows them as they enter their season opener Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks.

Will Kobe Bryant play?

He sat out of his fifth practice Monday since suffering a strained and bruised right foot in the Lakers’ exhibition game Oct. 21 against Sacramento. Bryant also missed the team’s last two preseason games. And against Dallas, the Lakers are considering him a game-time decision.

“He loves the big lights,” Lakers forward Metta World Peace said. Kobe’s never afraid of criticism. He’s never been afraid to play hurt and not play well or play hurt and play great. His mind is different from other people’s.”

Still, Bryant hasn’t picked up a basketball for eight days. He’s spent that time receiving constant treatment on his knee. Lakers Coach Mike Brown revealed he had an MRI, but provided no details on what it revealed. He even skipped the Lakers’ trip to San Diego last week in their preseason finale to avoid the 2 1/2 hour bus ride down and back. Bryant hasn’t spoken to reporters for a week and sounded in a dour mood last Tuesday when he conceded his foot is “pretty sore.”

Bryant suffered the injury when he tripped over Sacramento forward Thomas Robinson while cutting into the lane. Bryant, who scored 21 points on 6 of 12 shooting, stayed in the game before discovering the pain worsening.

“We would like to have him,” Lakers forward Pau Gasol said. “But for health issues and reasons, we would be more concerned with not having him later on for a long stretch.”

So instead, the Lakers are bracing for the possibility Bryant won’t play. Lakers reserve guard Jodie Meeks. who’s averaged 5.9 points on 26.7 percent shooting this preseason, played with the first unit during the portion of Monday’s practice that was open to the media.

“He hasn’t practice in a while so we understand what we have to do without him in a game, Lakers center Dwight Howard said. “He’ll be okay and will get stronger every day. He’s trying his best to come back and play.”

Bryant still exerted his influence, though. He mostly spent Monday’s practice receiving treatment on his foot, sometimes on a training table from the side of the court so he could still view practice. At one point, Bryant stood up and talked to Lakers Coach Mike Brown during a drill. At other moments, Brown recalled Bryant making a hissing noise to get his teammates’ attention.

“Everybody knows that’s Kobe’s way of calling anybody,” Brown said. “So you’ve got 30 heads turning to look. He’s watching what’s going on in practice. He’ll start coaching from the training table. He may coach an individual or he may have something that may help the team.

“Right now I just look at him as an assistant coach. He may not like to hear that because he because he doesn’t want to take a big pay cut, but he’s been in tune, involved with practice every day.”

Still, that pales from playing on the court. 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. From a punctured right shoulder that has since healed and his currently strained right foot, Bryant has missed six practices and three preseason games.

If there is one guy that is capable of sitting out and playing a game, it’s Kobe,” Brown said. “He’s extremely intelligent and he’s been around the block. Him sitting might be better than him being out there every day getting banged up in practice.”


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Kobe Bryant misses Monday’s practice, still considered day-to-day

The wait continues.

Will Kobe Bryant play in Lakers’ season opener Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks?

Who knows.

The Lakers star didn’t practice Monday and received continual treatment on his bruised and strained right foot. He’s still considered day-to-day.

During the Lakers’ practice open to the media, Bryant stood on the sideline wearing warm-up clothes. At times, he talked with Lakers Coach Mike Brown in between drills.

Ever since injuring his foot in the Lakers’ preseason loss Oct. 21 against the Kings, Bryant has missed five practices and two preseason games. 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.

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.

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Kobe Bryant misses Sunday’s practice, listed as day-to-day

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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Mike Brown touts Steve Blake as backup point guard

After publicly proclaiming this position stayed up for grabs during training camp, Brown stuck with Steve Blake as the team’s backup point guard.

“He had a little bit of an advantage because he was in the system last year,” Brown said of Blake, who averaged 3.6 points on 40 percent shooting in 14.6 minutes through seven game. “It’s not set in stone, but we felt he played a little bit better as of late.”

Blake, entering his third season with the Lakers, competed against Chris Duhon, who arrived here from Orlando as part of the Dwight Howard trade. Duhon averaged 1.8 points on a 33.3 percent clip in 9.6 minutes through five games.

“My backup point guard first needs to defend, second get the team organized and third not turn the ball over,” Brown said. “If he can score and/or shoot, that’s a bonus.”

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Kobe Bryant sat out of Saturday’s practice

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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Lakers waive Andrew Goudelock

The Lakers made further trimmings to their training camp roster by waiving second-year guard Andrew Goudelock, the team announced Saturday.

The Lakers currently have the league maximum 15 players on their team, 13 of them with guaranteed contracts. The two without guaranteed deals include second-round draft picks Robert Sacre and Darius Johnson-Odom.

In a brief interview with The L.A. Daily News, Goudelock’s agent, Andrew Vye, said the Lakers explained their roster cut as both a numbers/salary issue. By declining to exercise Goudelock’s team option, the Lakers save $789,000 in both salary and luxury taxes.

Goudelock impressed the Lakers’ coaching staff his rookie season with his 37 percent mark from three-point range. But the Lakers felt weary of Goudelock’s unpolished game in several areas, including his ball handling, passing and defense. Through six preseason games. Goudelock averaged 3.8 points and 0.8 assists in 7.7 minutes.

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak remained non-committal last week in an interview with The L.A. Daily News on which training camp roster players the Lakers will keep. All NBA teams must make final cuts by Tuesday, but Kupchak indicated Saturday would mark the last day to allow time for players to clear waivers. It’s presently unclear if this marks the Lakers’ last bit of roster cuts.

The Lakers have remained high on Sacre, whom the Lakers selected out of Gonzaga with the 60th overall draft pick. Sacre has started in six of the eight preseason games while Dwight Howard rehabbed from back surgery, averaging averaging 6.4 points on 51.4 percent shooting, 4.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in a game. Rookie guard Darius Johnson only appeared in four of the team’s preseason games because of a “coach’s decision.”

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Metta World Peace receives therapy from children

Whenever a problem arises, Metta World Peace needs to speak. World Peace talks with his psychologist, Santhi Periasamy, often when he feels frustrated with his play, his business interests, the media or his personal life. World Peace uses these sessions as a sounding board. He also uses it as an outlet to prevent a small problem from becoming bigger.

It’s a serious issue, and why World Peace has devoted plenty of time raising money for mental health charities. But that doesn’t mean he can’t poke fun at his zaniness, either. Hence, why World Peace spoofed his therapy sessions through NOC, which produces short videos on the personalities and lives of professional athletes.

In the video titled Metta World Therapy, the Lakers’ star reveals all his insecurities with dramatic background music. The drama suddenly turns to comedy when the video shows World Peace’s therapists are random children.

Considering World Peace always shows his inner child, the theme seems quite fitting.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter.

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