Kobe Bryant to sit out tonight against Phoenix

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, left, defends Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson during the first half Friday in Indianapolis. Bryant will sit out his second consecutive game tonight when the Lakers take on the Phoenix Suns. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

PHOENIX — Kobe Bryant will sit out for the second consecutive game because of a sprained left ankle when the Lakers play tonight against the Phoenix Suns.

Bryant remains with the Lakers in Phoenix so he can continue receiving treatment from the team’s training staff. The Lakers will list Bryant as day-to-day after tonight’s game.

Bryant, who tweeted Saturday night that he also has the flu, also missed the Lakers’ 113-102 win Sunday over the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center. He lasted only a quarter in the Lakers’ win Friday against Indiana after struggling to put pressure on the ankle. Lakers guard Jodie Meeks will likely start at shooting guard after assuming that spot Sunday against the Kings.

Bryant’s absence could pave the way for a more thorough recovery. The Lakers plan to take the day off Tuesday before practicing both Wednesday and Thursday before playing Friday against the Washington Wizards at Staples Center.

Bryant closed out last season sitting out eight games, seven of them because of a left shin injury and one of them to rest. Afterwards, Bryant attributed that extra rest as playing largely instrumental in averaging 29.1 points in the Lakers’ seven-game first-round series against the Denver Nuggets.

Bryant has averaged 27.1 points on 46.8 percent shooting in 37.9 minutes per game. But he conceded his body felt sore a few days after leading the Lakers two weeks ago in double-digit come-back victories against the New Orleans Hornets and Toronto Raptors.


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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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