The constant pain has often led Kobe Bryant to both joke and lament to Lakers coach Byron Scott about an uncomfortable reality.
“‘I’m old right now,'” Scott recalled Bryant telling him. “‘Every now and then I’ll wake up and something is hurting. I know the feeling. I’m a lot older than him and I know the feeling.”
That pain took on a new turn for Bryant, who missed Friday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center. Yet, Scott still believed there marked a “good chance” for Bryant to return in the Lakers’ back-to-back this week, both on Tuesday against Brooklyn at Staples Center and on Wednesday in Denver.
Nonetheless, the Lakers have not formally decided considering Bryant was at the team’s facility during practices on Saturday and Sunday. Scott believed Bryant will report to the facility on Monday for treatment, though that was not concrete.
Bryant has missed a combined 11 games this season amid overlapping injuries to his back, right Achilles and right shoulder. But lately, Scott said Bryant’s shoulder “bothers him every now and then.” Since announcing his retirement announcement in late November, Bryant has played 14 out of 21 games at Staples Center and appeared in 23 out of 24 road games.
Bryant has more flexibility to miss any of the next 13 games at Staples Center. But he will also make final stops in Denver (Wednesday), Phoenix (March 23) and Utah (March 28).
“Does he want to play every game? Absolutely,” Scott said. “But he knows he can’t play every game.”