With the start of the regular season less than a week away on Oct. 30, the Los Angeles Lakers’ coaching staff is dealing with a winless preseason and a few injury concerns to some of the team’s most important players.
Fortunately for the Lakers, Dwight Howard appears to be healthy and ready to go for the last preseason game against the Sacramento Kings and the season opener against the Dallas Mavericks next week. Even though Howard’s speedy recovery is definitely a good sign moving forward, Kobe Bryant has become the team’s major concern in terms of an injury with a strained right foot.
Kobe will miss the final preseason game against the Kings on Thursday night and might not be ready to suit up against the Mavs for opening night according Lakers Coach Mike Brown via Ramona Shelburne and Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“I don’t know if he’ll be ready,” Brown said after the Lakers’ 97-91 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. “So yeah, I guess there is question. I’m just going to wait for [Lakers trainer] Gary Vitti to tell me he can play, because there’s nothing I can do about it until they release him anyway.”
Three of the five starters for the Lakers have dealt with injuries over the last week or so. Metta World Peace recently dislocated his middle finger, Steve Nash rolled his ankle and Howard dealt with soreness in his back after making his Lakers debut.
Now it appears that Kobe may have been the biggest injury concern for the team all along. Fortunately, the five-time NBA champion is arguably the toughest player in the league in terms of fighting through injuries and will likely be back on the floor in no time, but the fact that he might miss the season opener against the Mavs does raise a few eyebrows as the injury must be taking its toll for Kobe to even consider sitting out a regular season game let along opening night.
In case you missed it: Dwight Howard talks about his Lakers debut.
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