Bryant could miss Lakers season opener vs. Mavs due to foot injury
El Segundo, CA, United States (4E Sports) – With a strained right foot bothering him, superstar Kobe Bryant could miss the Los Angeles Lakers’ season-opening game against the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday at Staples Center.
Bryant skipped Sunday’s practice and underwent treatment on the strained right foot he suffered last week during the team’s exhibition game against the Sacramento Kings.
Bryant’s injury has center Pau Gasol concerned about his teammate’s status come opening day.
“I don’t know, I have my doubts,” said Gasol. “I hope we have him in the lineup. He hasn’t been able to practice for six days. He’s been off that foot for six days, and it’s no joke. I don’t remember the last time that he took that many days off exercising.”
New addition Dwight Howard, who was expected to miss the Lakers’ opening game due to injury, said the strained foot had Bryant in a bad mood.
“He hasn’t really talked about it,” Howard said. “I know he’s a little down right now. He seems down because he can’t get out there and practice with us. He’s trying to nurse his foot.”
During the weekend, Bryant underwent an MRI and was re-evaluated by team trainer Gary Vitti and the rest of the medical staff over the weekend, according to Lakers coach Mike Brown.
The MRI confirmed Bryant suffered a strain and contusion on his right foot, Lakers spokesman John Black said.
“We’ll see how he is (Monday) and what he cannot do or can do out on the floor and then kind of go from there,” Brown said.
Bryant missed several practices earlier in training camp because of discomfort in the same right foot.
However, sources told ESPN.com that Bryant’s injury is in a different place on his right foot and is considerably more painful.
“It’s a medical issue,” Brown said. “If Gary says he can’t play for medical reasons, he won’t play. He can’t play if the doctors won’t release him. I don’t know anybody in any professional sport that would play if the doctors don’t release you.”
Knowing Bryant’s big fighting heart, some of his teammates expect him to play against the Mavericks.
“I would see Kobe playing,” Metta World Peace said. “Every time he’s hurt, he always plays. He always comes through. We know him for that. The fans know him for that. So, I can see him definitely playing.”
“I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if he played,” add point guard Steve Nash.