Kobe Bryant sits out against Trail Blazers with shoulder injury
Kobe Bryant reportedly strained his right shoulder during Tuesday afternoon’s practice. However, Kobe Bryant completed the whole practice, followed by an additional hour’s workout involving ball-handlings skills shooting drills with Los Angeles Lakers players development coach Phil Handy. The shoulder injury didn’t become a serious issue until later in the evening.
A Los Angeles Lakers spokesman revealed that Kobe Bryant’s status will remain day-to-day.
In addition to Kobe Bryant’s absence, the Los Angeles Lakers will also have to deal with the loss of center Dwight Howard, who is still rehabbing form offseason shoulder injury, and Jordan Hill, who is out with a herniated disk.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown stated that he will be starting rookie Robert Sacre at center for the second straight game this preseason. Mike Brown also intends to add minutes to power forwards Pau Gasol, Earl Clark and Antawn Jamison’s play time on Wednesday.
Expect to see more minutes for backup shooting guards Devin Ebanks and Jodie Meeks in Kobe Bryant’s absence.
Kobe Bryant had appeared very energetic and quick on his feet during training camp. And on Tuesday, after making two dunks, Kobe Bryant had boasted he hasn’t been in such a great form since the 2006 season.
During the Los Angeles Lakers’ 110-83 loss to the Golden State Warriors, in their preseason opener Sunday, Kobe Bryant played over 18 minutes scoring 10 points on 2-of-7 shooting and contributing three assists.
The 17-year NBA veteran Kobe Bryant is coming off a season in which he played increased minutes, averaging 28 points per game with 43 percent shooting from the floor. However, Kobe Bryant is still the Los Angeles Lakers’ deepest threat on the perimeter and a key scorer form the wing.
With the addition of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to the roster this season, the Los Angeles Lakers were hoping to go into a long postseason and loss of Kobe Bryant will deeply unbalance the offense.
Kobe Bryant hasn’t been to Germany to the knee repair procedure like last season. Mike Brown had revealed that Kobe Bryant missed two practices last Friday due to a sore right foot.
Additionally, there are concerns if the recent injury could be a long-term issue resulting from a 2003 surgery Kobe Bryant had on his right shoulder to repair a torn labrum that resulted from a dunk attempt during the playoffs.
However, the Los Angeles Lakers are already one step ahead, taking a very precautious approach towards Kobe Bryant’s performance and health this season.
The Los Angeles Lakers face the Utah Jazz at Staples center for their third preseason game on Saturday.