The 2012 NBA season is set to open on Oct. 30, with three games on the schedule, including the Dallas Mavericks visiting the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant, however, might be on the bench for the contest.
There’s a chance Bryant won’t be ready to play in the first game of the year, because of a foot injury. The veteran got hurt in Sunday’s exhibition game against the Kings, getting tangled up with Sacramento’s Thomas Robinson.
Bryant sat out Wednesday’s loss to the Clippers and won’t play in the Lakers final preseason game on Thursday. Head coach Mike Brown is unsure if his starting shooting guard will be good to go in the opener.
"I don't know if he'll be ready," said Brown. "So yeah, I guess there is a question. I'm just going to wait for [Lakers trainer] Gary Vitti to tell me he can play because there's nothing I can do about it until they release him anyway."
Entering his 17th season, Bryant has avoided injuries for most of his career. He’s played in 92 percent of the regular season games, since he was drafted in 1996.
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Bryant’s foot strain will be re-evaluated over the weekend. He’s officially listed as out indefinitely. Jodie Meeks started in Bryant’s absence.
L.A. has experienced a few injuries this preseason. Dwight Howard also sat out Wednesday’s game, due to his back injury. The center made his debut with Los Angeles on Sunday, but felt sore in the days after. He will likely be ready for the opener against Dallas.
With one game left in the preseason, the Lakers are 0-7.