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Kobe Bryant won't play against Denver Nuggets

April 13, 2012|By Mark Medina
  • Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's sore left shin kept him out of this third consecutive game Wednesday night at San Antonio.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's sore left shin kept him out of this third… (Eric Gay / Associated Press…)

The wait continues.

Kobe Bryant will miss his fourth consecutive game when the Lakers host the Denver Nuggets on Friday at Staples Center because of a sore left shin.

Although he said Bryant "definitely is improving," Lakers Coach Mike Brown remained noncommital whether he would play Sunday against the Dallas Mavericks. Bryant is currently listed as day-to-day.

Bryant missed Friday's morning shootaround to receive treatment on his shin and didn't speak to reporters.  He hasn't worn a walking boot since Tuesday to see how his shin reacted without it. Bryant has tenosynovitis, a condition that causes the tendon sheath to become inflamed and causes pain whenever the tendon slides in or out of it.

Bryant, the NBA's scoring leader, suffered the injury when he was kicked in the shin during the first quarter of the Lakers' 88-85 victory March 31 over the New Orleans Hornets. Bryant appeared in four games afterwards, averaging 30.8 points on 56.6% shooting.

Despite the uncertainty regarding Bryant's return, Brown remains more concerned about his recovery before the playoffs start than how the Lakers will adjust without him in the lineup. The Lakers have gone 2-1 during Bryant's absence and have gone 17-18 overall without him since the 2004-05 season.

"There's really no adjustments," Brown said. "We just keep playing the way we're playing. Kobe did a great job when he was playing with us.... Kobe has been in the game a long time that when he was playing, I didn't call a ton of plays for him. I only called plays for him at the end of the game. He just finds shots during the course of the game. Without Kobe, it's a blow from the standpoint that he's a big-time closer but other than that, our guys have an understanding on how we want to play."

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