After numerous tests to see whether or not Kobe Bryant can take the floor against the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight after suffering a concussion in the All-Star game, the Black Mamba has passed them all and will be evaluated with one final test. The last thing Kobe will go through before determining his playing status for tonight will be an on-court game of 2-on-2 which will be monitored closely by the Lakers’ training staff.
If Kobe Bryant passes the on-court test, the Lakers will put him in uniform against the T’Wolves. At this point in time, the team is saying that Kobe is a game-time decision and that may stick to keep Minnesota off guard (as if they don’t anticipate him playing) heading into tonight’s matchup at the Staples Center.
As for Kobe’s broken nose, the Lakers’ staff has constructed a protective mask for him to wear. If Kobe is given the green light to play, he will test out the mask during the shootaround and determine whether or not he wants to wear it during the game. This mask should look like what Chicago Bulls’ guard Richard Hamilton wears on a nightly basis.
Lakers head coach Mike Brown spoke about Kobe Bryant’s playing status tonight via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“I don’t want to speak for the doctors, but if they didn’t feel like he was going to be able to play tonight, they would say, ‘Oh, he’s definitely out,’ and they have not said that,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said. “They said he’s going through the necessary steps to possibly play tonight.”
So it appears that Kobe Bryant will be good to go tonight pending a symptom-free on-court test result. The game-time decision will continue to be in effect until the start of tonight’s game at 7:30 p.m. PST.