The Los Angeles Lakers still don't know whether or not Kobe Bryant will play Tuesday night's NBA season opener against the Dallas Mavericks, but they got good news on Tuesday morning. Bryant participated in shoot-around and said there is an "85 percent" chance he will play against Dallas, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles.
Bryant missed roughly a week's worth of practices with a strained and bruised right foot, and is said to be a game-time decision.
"Of course I want to play. But we put together a great roster and worked really hard this summer to get myself in tip top shape," Bryant told reporters, per Mark Medina of the LA Daily News. "I'm not going to play with an injury that will get progressively worse and limp through the season. I worked too hard for that."
The Lakers are 64-39 without Bryant, who starts his 17th season, the most years with the Lakers in their franchise history. But the team is just 28-29 in the 57 games Bryant has missed in the post-Shaquille O`Neal era, starting with the 2004-2005 season.
"It's just a matter of how sore it gets from now until I get to Staples," Bryant told Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
Bryant played in 58 of the Lakers' 66 games last season, and played in a full 82 games during the 2010-2011 season.