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Kobe Bryant Injury Required An MRI, But Lakers Guard Expects To Play Game 5

It’s never good when a basketball fan sees “Kobe Bryant Injury” in the headlines, but the fans of the Los Angeles Lakers shouldn’t have too much to worry about when it comes to the guard’s planned MRI sometime Monday evening as Bryant himself has already said that he plans to play.

The injury in question, of course, is the rolled ankle Bryant suffered in the waning seconds of the Lakers Game 4 loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday that evened the first-round NBA playoff series at two games apiece heading into Tuesday night’s pivotal Game 5. Bryant only missed 16 seconds of game-time, however, and doesn’t seem like he plans to miss anymore playing time next time out.

“I’ve played through so many of them, it kind of becomes old hat for me,” Bryant told the Orange County Register. “It’s going to take a lot to stop me from playing.”

As Tom Ziller from SB Nation NBA points out, the Lakers need Bryant to play through it because if he doesn’t play, L.A. could be in a world of hurt. Ron Artest has been the Lakers’ No. 2 scorer behind Kobe during this series and Pau Gasol is averaging just 12 points and six rebounds and shooting less than 40 percent against New Orleans.