Kobe Bryant was listed as day-to-day after a neurologist said he sustained a concussion Sunday in the All-Star game, though chances were slim Bryant would play against Minnesota on Wednesday.
Bryant was fouled hard in the third quarter by Miami guard Dwyane Wade. Bryant kept playing and finished with 27 points in the Western Conference’s 152-149 victory.
Bryant will again see neurologist Vern Williams on Wednesday, but the NBA’s new concussion policy makes it hard to envision Bryant playing against the Timberwolves.
According to the policy set in motion this season, after a player is symptom-free for 24 hours, he must complete a series of steps to confirm he’s healthy enough for competition. The steps are increasing stages of exertion from a stationary bike to jogging to agility work to non-contact drills while ensuring the symptoms didn’t return after each stage.
At that point, there would have to be consultation with the neurologist in charge of the NBA’s concussion program before Bryant was cleared to play.
Bryant would have to be symptom-free Tuesday evening and be able to complete the stages 24 hours later before the Lakers take the court against Minnesota.
That Bryant never stopped playing after sustaining a concussion and broken nose in a game sponsored by the NBA will undoubtedly become a flashpoint of debate if Bryant can’t play Wednesday.
Bryant hasn’t talked to reporters since the play but there has been plenty of chatter about it.
Wade told reporters he sent an apologetic message to Bryant, which didn’t ease the minds of Bryant’s Lakers teammates.
“We were at an All-Star game. I don’t understand what that was all about,” Andrew Bynum said Tuesday. “It’s crazy.”
Pau Gasol added: “I think it was out of place, out of line for the moment of the game that it was. I don’t think [Wade] intended to break his nose … but again, I don’t think it was the place to foul like that.”