Following the Los Angeles Lakers’ Thursday night loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Kobe Bryant was spotted limping through the Bradley Center, which was later revealed to stem from a bone spur in his left foot.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski caught up with the superstar shooting guard after the contest—L.A.’s fourth loss in five games.
Bryant stated that the foot “inflamed” on him, but that “it’s been ongoing with me for a while now.”
While it was clear that the Black Mamba was somewhat limited by this ankle issue during the matchup, he still managed to score a team-high 30 points in the 113-103 defeat.
Bryant was forced to rely on the charity stripe to get his numbers—hitting on 18 of 20 free throws—as he was only 6-of-17 from the field and 0-of-3 from beyond the arc. It further proved the Mamba’s resilience, as he was able to improbably keep the Lakers in it even though his jumper was ineffective.
Unfortunately, Kobe’s efforts were for naught as his teammates struggled and starting PG Steve Nash was forced to the sidelines with a right hip spasm in the middle of the third quarter.
As a result, the Lakers dropped to 37-36 on the season and are hanging on to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoff race by a thread. A pivotal road contest against the Sacramento Kings is looming on Saturday in what is a must-win game for L.A. with just nine games remaining.
Both Nash and Bryant are listed as questionable on the injury report, but history shows that the star SG will do everything in his power to suit up and play in order to give this organization its best chance of making the postseason.
Despite intense swelling, Bryant worked relentlessly to return and was back at full strength just over a week later—not counting his 12 unproductive minutes against the Pacers, which only served to further prove his heart was in the right place.
Which team will win on Saturday?
Since Bryant admitted that he’s been dealing with these bone spurs in his foot for a while now, we can’t imagine the inflammation will do much to keep him out of action for any time at all.
He gritted through the pain to play 36 minutes against Milwaukee and will likely dig deep to play similar minutes against Sacramento. Bryant, as he always does, will find a way to be a boon to his team and put points up on the board.