Kobe Bryant Could Miss Lakers Season Opener With Foot Ailment

Kobe Bryant could miss the Los Angeles Lakers’ season opener this week as he recovers from a foot ailment.

The Lakers noted that Kobe Bryant say out of Sunday’s practice, using the time instead to receive treatment on the right foot he strained last week during an exhibition game against the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers open their season against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, but Kobe Bryant’s status appears still up in the air, ESPN Los Angeles reported.

Even Kobe’s teammates appeared unsure if he would be back in time.

“I don’t know, I have my doubts,” said Pau Gasol, Bryant’s longest-tenured teammate on the Lakers. “I hope we (have him in the lineup). … He hasn’t been able to practice for six days. He’s been off that foot for six days and it’s no joke. I don’t remember the last time that he took that many days off exercising. He might do stuff in the weight room and might do stuff without putting weight on the foot, but it’s a little bit concerning.”

Dwight Howard noted that Kobe hasn’t said much about the injury, adding that the guard doesn’t seem too happy with how it’s progressing.

Over the weekend Kobe Bryant was re-evaluated by the team trainer and medical staff, undergoing an MRI, Lakers coach Mike Brown said.

“We’ll see how he is (Monday) and what he cannot do or can do out on the floor and then kind of go from there,” Brown said.

Expectations will be high on Kobe Bryant when he returns, USA Today noted. The NBA world champion and US gold medalist has the best team assembled around him since the departure of Shaquille O’Neal, with the Lakers bringing in guard Steve Nash along with Howard. Many NBA experts are predicting the team to reach the NBA Finals, setting up a matchup with the equally stacked Miami Heat.