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Kobe Bryant expected to play tonight against Indiana

March 15, 2013|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Kobe Bryant suffered a severely sprained ankle during a play which the Lakers guard suggests Atlanta's Dahntay Jones intentionally walked underneath him.
Kobe Bryant suffered a severely sprained ankle during a play which the Lakers… (Curtis Compton / Assocaited…)

INDIANAPOLIS — Kobe Bryant is expected to play Friday against the Indiana Pacers.

"He's better. A lot better," Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Bryant sustained a severely sprained left ankle Wednesday against Atlanta and was declared out indefinitely by the Lakers.

He did some shooting almost three hours before tip-off, testing out the ankle. D'Antoni said the coaching staff and athletic trainer Gary Vitti would watch Bryant closely when the game starts.

"We'll all sit together and we'll have a conversation," D'Antoni said.

And then what?

"And then he'll probably keep playing."


"We don't want him injured anymore and we'll see how it goes," D'Antoni added. "He's going to be productive. He'll find a way to be productive. That won't be the question. I just hope that he's got to make sure he doesn't get it worse than what it is."

The final decision was Bryant's.

"He is 34 years old and he's played 17 years. He has to know whether he can play or not," D'Antoni said. "If he can, then it's the right thing to do, especially if he wants to do it, and obviously he does."

The Lakers (34-32) would have a tough task with or without Bryant. The Pacers (40-24) are a solid 26-7 at home.


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