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Gasol and Bryant scrimmage Thursday, will play Friday, D'Antoni says

March 21, 2013|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol will play against Washington on Friday, according to Coach Mike D'Antoni.
Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol will play against Washington on Friday, according… (Ross D. Franklin / Associated…)

Kobe Bryant participated in a five-on-five scrimmage Thursday. So did Pau Gasol.

Bryant left a little early because his sprained left ankle stiffened a bit, but Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni wasn't concerned about his availability Friday against Washington.

"He'll be ready," D'Antoni said.

Gasol missed 20 games because of a tear inside the bottom of his right foot. He will play limited minutes Friday while simultaneously trying to get in shape.

"It's not good," Gasol said of his conditioning. "But I'll continue to work on it and it'll continue to get better."

For the first time since Jan. 30, Gasol and Bryant will be on the active roster with Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace, the lineup that "if we're going to do any damage, has to happen," D'Antoni said.

Gasol was injured Feb. 5 against Brooklyn. He was starting at the time because Howard was sidelined by a sore shoulder. It was not clear whether Gasol would start immediately in place of Earl Clark.

Quick acceleration and deceleration are still somewhat problematic for Gasol, as is jumping.

"It's not that I jump extremely high usually," Gasol said. "But I can dunk still. I don't need to jump much to dunk."

Bryant did not talk to reporters after Thursday's practice.

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