After participating fully in practice for the last two days, Kobe Bryant chose to sit out Thursday’s practice due to what is being described by the Los Angeles Lakers as “general soreness” in his left foot, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
This is the first practice that Bryant has missed since getting full medical clearance on all basketball activities last Saturday by the team.
Head coach Mike D’Antoni stated on Thursday that 15-time All-Star’s decision to not practice was not a “setback,” but more of a choice made on the side of caution.
“I think it’s just precautionary,” D’Antoni said. “I know everybody is eager, but it’s going to be a little bit of a process and [we will] make sure he is healthy when he comes back.”
As for Friday’s game against the Golden State Warriors, D’Antoni said that Bryant is unlikely to make his season debut. He also stated that the 19-year veteran is doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Sacramento Kings.
Pau Gasol does not seem to be concerned with Bryant missing his first practice, as he wants his teammate to come back when he feels that he is ready to do so.
“Not concerned at all,” Gasol said. “I don’t know when he’s going to play, but if he’s not going to play the next couple games, I think it’s good for him to get a couple good practices in, take a step off, let’s see how that Achilles reacts. Let it calm down, maybe. And then, pick it back up.”
That is a similar sentiment that is being carried throughout the organization as they want Bryant to return when he is ready whenever that may be. Remember he is only seven months removed from a major injury that typically takes between nine months to a year to fully recover from.
There is no pressure by the organization to rush Bryant back on the court because they do not want him to suffer any potential setbacks by his body trying to overcompensate from his Achilles not being fully healed.
So when Bryant feels that he that his body can handle the day-to-day workload, he and D’Antoni will sit down to discuss a possible return date.
Nash still battling
Steve Nash once again did not practice as he has missed the last week and a half with nerve root irritation in his back. D’Antoni on Thursday gave some clarity on when the 39-year-old could possibly make his return to the court.
“Conditioning and trying to get over the nerve pain,” D’Antoni said of Nash’s progress. “He’s got to get his body aligned. It will probably be another week or 10 days and then he’ll try [to return]. If it works, it works. If not, he’ll go back [to training] to try it again.”
And while the Lakers are on the road all next week, D’Antoni stated the 19-year veteran is planning to fly to Vancouver with his personal trainer, Rick Celebrini, to participate in rehab for his back and hamstrings.
As for other injury notes for Thursday’s practice, Chris Kaman sat out due to back soreness and is considered to be day-to-day.
Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Bob Garcia IV
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