Kobe Bryant injury: Lakers guard could miss regular-season opener

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant's strained right foot might keep the 17-year veteran out of the team's regular season opener against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, according to an ESPN report.

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant's strained right foot might keep the 17-year veteran out of the team's regular season opener against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, coach Mike Brown told reporters. "I don't know if he'll be ready," was Brown's response when asked.

Bryant strained the foot when he stepped awkwardly on a teammate's foot in the Lakers' 99-92 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night at Staples Center. He sat out the Lakers' loss to the Clippers on Wednesday night and will sit out the team's preseason finale against the Kings in San Diego on Thursday night. The foot has been bothering Bryant throughout training camp and has caused the 34-year-old to miss several practices.

While the Lakers are officially reporting that Bryant is out indefinitely, he reported improvement in the foot after a Wednesday shootaround and received treatment during the Lakers game on Wednesday night.

SB Nation's Lakers blog, Silver Screen and Roll, is optimistic that Bryant will find his way back on the floor for the team's opener.

"The Lakers have been extremely veiled in their injury assessments this preseason, so there's that to consider. Doomsday scenarios aside, we'll just have to wait and hear what the status is. Thankfully there's still a good stretch of time until opening night, and if the discomfort dies down, this should be a non issue. I mean, come on, Kobe Bryant would play if he had two peg legs."

Bryant's injury means the Lakers' new-and-improved starting five featuring Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace will have only played one game together in the preseason.

Tipoff for the Lakers' preseason finale is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET.

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