Kobe Bryant Injury: Updates on Los Angeles Lakers Star's Ankle

Ethan GrantAnalyst IMarch 13, 2013

The Los Angeles Lakers have climbed back into the thick of the Western Conference playoff race behind the stellar play of future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant. Unfortunately, Bryant has been in and out of the lineup since suffering an ankle injury against the Atlanta Hawks last week.


UPDATE: Friday, March 22, at 2:10 p.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald

Bryant is set to return to the lineup for Friday's home clash against the Washington Wizards, according to head coach Mike D'Antoni. The Lakers' official Twitter page broke the news, and also indicated that PF Pau Gasol would return—and likely start.

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UPDATE: Wednesday, March 20, at 3:36 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

Great news for Lakers fans as Kobe Bryant (ankle) is expected to return to action on Friday. ESPN's Dave MacMenamin has the latest:

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UPDATE: Monday, March 18 at 3:30 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

Disappointing news for Lakers fans as Kobe Bryant (ankle) will miss tonight's game against the Suns, according to Orange County Register's Kevin Ding.

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UPDATE: Sunday, March 17 at 8:41 p.m. ET by Dan Talintyre

After unsuccessfully trying to play through the injury earlier in the week, Kobe Bryant will not play for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Sacramento Kings.

Orange County Register's Kevin Ding reports that the star didn't event test out his ankle before the game—opting to sit it out completely.

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UPDATE: Saturday, March 16 at 10:36 p.m. ET by Michael Moraitis

Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News is reporting that Kobe Bryant is doubtful for the Lakers' game against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday:

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UPDATE: Friday, March 15 at 8:30 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos

Kobe Bryant tried his best to play through pain against the Indiana Pacers, but was unable to continue playing after the first quarter, as Lakers.com's Mike Trudell reported. Bryant went 0-for-4 in 12 minutes and did not score a point:

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UPDATE: Friday, March 15 at 6:20 p.m. ET by Michael Moraitis

Bryant will in fact be in the starting lineup on Friday night for the Lakers matchup with the Pacers, per Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:

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UPDATE: Friday, March 15 at 6:05 p.m. ET by Michael Moraitis

There's some positive news for the Lakers on Friday night against the Indiana Pacers as it looks like there's a good chance Bryant will play, per Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

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UPDATE: Friday, March 15 at 12:45 p.m. ET by Alex Kay

Kobe Bryant will be game-time decision for the Los Angeles Lakers' contest against the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

According to ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin, coach Mike D'Antoni had this to say about the star shooting guard's sprained ankle after the team's shootaround on Friday afternoon: "He's getting treatment. Obviously he'll get better every day and we'll see. When he can go, he'll go."

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UPDATE: Thursday, March 14 at 4:35 p.m. ET by Justin Onslow

Bryant shared a photo of his swollen ankle on Twitter, mentioning that he is receiving treatment after sustaining a sprain in the Lakers' 96-92 loss to the Hawks on Wednesday:


UPDATE: Thursday, March 14 at 10:34 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

Vanessa Bryant posted a photo of Bryant's injured ankle on Instagram.

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UPDATE: Wednesday, March 13 at 11:05 p.m. ET by Ethan Grant

According to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, things aren't looking good on Bryant's ankle—and that's directly out of the horse's mouth:

As for Bryant, I think it's safe to say he wasn't thrilled after the game according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

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According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Bryant underwent an X-ray after rolling his ankle during L.A.'s 96-92 loss to the Hawks and was seen limping through the locker room with a wrap on the injured area:

Mike Bresnahan is reporting that Bryant's X-rays were negative, and his status is currently listed as "out indefinitely":

With the Lakers trailing in the waning seconds against Atlanta, Bryant rose up for a game-tying jumper over Dahntay Jones only to miss the shot and land his left ankle on top of Jones' foot.

He stayed on the court for several minutes after incurring the injury, and eventually left the court under his own power after an extensive talk with team doctor Gary Vitti as teammates huddled around the fallen star.

The injury ruined what was yet another stellar game for the ageless wonder (game-high 31 points, seven rebounds and five assists) while the loss drops the Lakers to 34-32—still a half-game ahead of the Utah Jazz for the No. 8 spot in the West.

Just when the Lakers were starting to make a push that forced the prevailing opinion that LA might still be a title team, a disaster like this has the potential to crush any such talk over a critical juncture in LA's season.

If Bryant were to miss any considerable time, it would put a huge damper on any chance Los Angeles has in climbing back up the West's playoff ladder—and claiming the No. 8 seed over Utah, Dallas and Portland, at that.

It's worth noting that the Black Mamba is one of the toughest players in league history, and has refused to let injuries seal his fate in the past. He played with a protective mask after a nose injury about this time last season (via the Los Angeles Times), not to mention battling other more significant maladies (knee, wrist, fingers) in the past.

Kobe is no-doubt a warrior, but as we've seen in the NBA over the past few seasons, a healthy ankle can be the difference in a 20-point per game scorer and just an average NBA athlete.

Bryant is currently averaging 27.4 points per game, good for third in the league behind Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant.