In the first game back after All-Star Weekend, the Los Angeles Lakers remained competitive against the San Antonio Spurs, but ultimately fell 119-113. While Kobe Bryant finished with 25 points, four rebounds and three assists, he dislocated his middle finger late in the game.
Although head athletic trainer Gary Vitti popped it back into place, Bryant eventually left the game with less than a minute remaining. After the loss, X-rays on his finger came back negative according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:
The X-Rays were negative on Kobe’s finger, meaning there is no fracture and just a dislocation.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 20, 2016
With X-rays coming back negative, Bryant expects to play against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday according to Bob Garcia of Sports Out West:
Kobe Bryant on playing Sunday against Bulls: "As far as I know I am. It's not fractured."
— Bob Garcia IV (@bgarcia90) February 20, 2016
After three consecutive season-ending injuries, there were concerns Bryant could miss significant time. However, it appears the five-time champion will be ready to make his final appearance in Chicago against Pau Gasol and the Bulls.
With 26 games remaining in the 2015-16 NBA season, one of the priorities is keeping Bryant relatively healthy. While he has missed 10 games already due to Achilles and shoulder injuries, Bryant has had some vintage performances.
As the Lakers are headed to the NBA draft lottery for the third consecutive season, head coach Byron Scott expects to limit his superstar’s minutes down the stretch.