When Kobe Bryant limped off the floor in the Los Angeles Lakers fifth preseason game, fans everywhere held their breath. News afterwards indicated that the injury was just a minor one, but with Kobe missing the final three preseason games, doubt has begun to creep in.
Head coach Byron Scott has maintained that Kobe will play in the Lakers season opener and while he still believes he will, Scott could not guarantee that his superstar would suit up according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
Byron can't guarantee Kobe will play in Lakers' opener Wednesday vs Minnesota. But he thinks it'll happen.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) October 24, 2015
Kobe took some shots and got treatment on his injured calf, but otherwise did not participate in the rest of practice. According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, the Lakers hope to ramp up things in the next couple of days:
Byron said hope is for Kobe to ramp up practice tomorrow and do complete practices on Mon and Tues
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 24, 2015
If there was one thing basketball fans everywhere hoped for, it was that Kobe Bryant would be healthy enough to make it through the season. While this isn’t an injury that would last throughout the year, it surely would not be promising if Kobe wasn’t on the floor for opening night.
On the plus side for the Lakers, Jordan Clarkson was a full participant in practice and expects to play on Wednesday. If Kobe doesn’t suit up, Scott would likely choose between Nick Young or rookie Anthony Brown to start in his place.