Lakers Injury Update; Kobe and Odom Probable
There’s still a chance that Kobe Bryant‘s sprained left ankle will be healed enough for him to play against the Jazz on Wednesday in Utah, but it appears likely that Andrew Bynum will be out for the second straight game with a bruised right hip and swelling in his left knee.
“I don’t think Andrew will play,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “Right now I think he’s kind of resigned himself to the fact that he might not be able to play. We’d like him to, but he may not be able to.”
Both Bryant and Bynum missed practice Tuesday but will travel with the team to Utah and Bryant remains a game-time decision.
“It’s really up to [Bryant],” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “If he feels like he can play, he can play. He doesn’t want to miss any games that he doesn’t have to miss, and that’s a pretty natural thing. He feels like it’s his responsibility [to play] being the leader of this team, and I agree with him there. There’s a certain responsibility to play, but if he can’t play, he’ll know.”
Jackson said that the diagnostic tests that Bryant underwent Monday came back better than team doctors expected.
“They were really pleased,” Jackson said. “It was less problematic than it could have been.”
Jackson said he wants Bryant to play Wednesday but wasn’t as adamant about seeing Bryant in the starting lineup for the All-Star Game on Sunday in Dallas.
“That’s something the league has put such a priority on,” Jackson said. “They’re trying to draw 150,000 people to a game and it’s a big deal. It’s [like] a revival meeting.”
Yet another Lakers player, Lamar Odom, is dealing with an injury of his own. When Odom arrived at the Lakers practice facility Tuesday he informed the team he had a sore right foot. Odom was excused from practice and sent to receive an MRI and CAT Scan on the foot, which both came back negative. He will also travel to Utah with the team and is listed as probable for the contest.