Kobe Bryant’s latest injury is not a cause for concern for Lakers
This time, the Lakers maintained on Friday, the organization is not worried about the latest injury that has derailed Kobe Bryant.
Bryant didn’t practice for a second straight day because of a bruised lower left leg and has been ruled out of Saturday night’s exhibition against the Golden State Warriors in San Diego for “precautionary” reasons, but Lakers Coach Byron Scott said there was no need for any concern like the previous injuries his star guard has dealt with in the last three seasons.
“Naw, not really, not at all, to be honest,” Scott said after practice Friday. “It’s just a little soreness on the muscle. It’s not a bone [issue] or anything like that.
“He came out today and got some shooting up. But, again, for precautionary reasons, there’s no need to try to have him play [Saturday] when we’ve got two more preseason games after that and six days before the start of the regular season.”
Scott understood why Bryant’s newest injury would alarm Lakers fans.
Injuries have sidelined Bryant the last three years. He has had a torn left Achilles’ tendon, a left knee injury and is coming off a right rotator cuff injury.
He has played in just 41 regular-season games in the last two seasons.
Scott wanted to reassure all that if it were a regular-season game, Bryant probably would push the limits of this current leg injury.
“I think if it was a regular-season game, it would be a much better chance of him playing,” Scott said. “But since it’s not, there’s no need for him to play tomorrow night.”
Scott said Bryant, who left before the media was allowed into practice, got treatment at the team’s practice facility.
“We’ll see how he feels for Sunday’s practice,” Scott said.
Scott said the team will then determine whether Bryant will play Monday night in an exhibition game against the Portland Trail Blazers after Sunday’s practice.
Bryant was injured during Tuesday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings in Las Vegas.
Scott declined to say who would start in Bryant’s place, but it could be second-year guard Jordan Clarkson in the backcourt with rookie D’Angelo Russell, who hasn’t started the last two games after being sidelined one game because of a bruised glute he suffered in the Lakers’ second exhibition game in Hawaii.
Scott said rookie guard Marcelo Huertas, who has a strained left hamstring, is listed as probable for Saturday night’s game. “That’s obviously 50-50,” Scott said. “He did everything today except for last five or six minutes [of practice].”
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