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Will Kobe play opening night? Pau Gasol ‘has his doubts.’

Oct 28, 2012, 8:30 PM EDT

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

When Kobe Bryant was shut down for the remainder of the preseason last week due to a foot injury, there seemed to be very little to be concerned about. First of all, there were only two games left, and considering that they were on consecutive days, even a fully healthy Bryant might have sat one of them out just to rest.

Second, and more importantly, Bryant is among the game’s most durable players — he’s stubbornly played through serious injuries throughout his career, and did so most recently a season ago when he suffered a torn ligament in his right wrist.

But this foot injury that’s kept him out of those preseason games, and kept him from practicing since it occurred seems more difficult to play through than perhaps the others. Even so, the report that Bryant might not be ready for the season opener seemed a bit premature, again, given Bryant’s history.

After the team practiced on Sunday — without Bryant, of course — Pau Gasol was less than optimistic regarding his teammate’s availability for the season opener just two days from now.

Via’s Dave McMenamin:

The reality is, with limited information on the injury in terms of the exact nature of it or the expected recovery time (remember, the team initially set no timetable for his return), we have no idea if Bryant will be ready to go Tuesday night.

But if there was ever a season where Bryant should take his time coming back to make sure he’s as close to 100 percent as possible, with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash as his newly-minted teammates capable of handling things while he’s away, this one would seem to be it.

  1. money2long - Oct 28, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    exactly, in regards to the last sentence in this piece. if there were ever a season where kobe could ease himself, it’d be this one. no need to be hasty with anything. and this is no knock on bynum, but with kobe’s potential absence, i’m less anxious with dwight howard manning the paint instead of him because dwight is a proven franchise player.

  2. spthegr8 - Oct 28, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Let the Mamba rest!!! Mike brown isn’t the best coach in the league, but he isn’t a idiot either. I think this is the first time since the Disel left, that we can rest Kobe and KNOW we have enough to win without him against most teams!!!!!!!! LET’S GO LAKESHOW!!!!!! Plus Dirk isn’t playing either. All the more reason to rest him!!!!!!!!

    • money2long - Oct 28, 2012 at 9:37 PM

      very true. didn’t think of the dirk aspect. but kobe or dirk for a premiere game, that blows. but i still think there is enough to see from both teams to warrant an enjoyable watch, nonetheless.

  3. spthegr8 - Oct 28, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Agreed!!!! I predict Nash has 15 assist!! Gasol and Howard have dbl dbl’s in a easy win!!!!

  4. erockadus - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:31 AM

    s/w Kobe . . . says he’s 50/50 for Tuesday

  5. soopreme - Oct 30, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    This can be a blessing in diguise.
    Let Kobe sit a few games and allow Nash to establish chemistry with Gasol and Howard and Kobe can watch to see where his opportunities are.
    When he comes back he can ease in and hopefully fit in to that chemistry.
    Kobe should be at the point where he should just concentrate on closing as opposed to trying to lead the league in fg attemps and scoring.
    The key to this teams success is Kobe understanding his role.

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