Kobe Bryant didn't practice Tuesday for the second consecutive day because of a sore ankle and strained right foot, but he expects to be nearly at full strength when the Lakers play Utah on Wednesday.
"Hopefully I'll be about 90% by tomorrow ... put this ankle behind me," Bryant said.
The 34-year-old Bryant has averaged 37 minutes this season while nursing the foot injury, half a minute more than his career average.
Bryant said he's more than capable of playing that amount of time, but he acknowledged that it's probably not desirable.
"I'm really in tip-top shape, so my body can handle that, but if I don't need to play that many minutes, all the better," he said.
Bryant may not have been overstating his conditioning. He lost 16 pounds over the summer, which he said has positively impacted his game.
"It takes a lot of pressure off my legs," Bryant said.
His play supports his claim. He has been averaging 26.8 points a game, shooting an impressive 60% from the field.Bryant may be feeling more spry, but he didn't quite confirm a CNN Turkey report which quoted Bryant as saying that he's aiming to play until age 40. Well, in the NBA, that is.
"Playing until I'm 40 is not beyond the realm of possibility," he said. "There's always YMCA games, there's always pickup games. I'll probably be playing as long as I'm living.