Report: Kobe’s ‘doubtful,’ but Lakers expect he’ll be ready for opener

Injuries are already an issue for Kobe Bryant headed into the 2015-16 NBA season.
David Banks/Getty Images

We don’t yet know whether 2015-16 will be Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour with the Los Angeles Lakers. And we probably won’t have an answer until the season is over. But for now, there’s an even bigger question — will Bryant be ready when the regular season tips off for the Lakers?

Opening night in Los Angeles is less than a week away, and the Lakers’ preseason finale is right around the corner. But after suffering a bruised lower leg last Tuesday in a game against the Sacramento Kings, Bryant is on the mend. Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times reports that Bryant is "doubtful at best" for Thursday’s preseason game against the Golden State Warriors. While that might put his regular-season debut in doubt, too, coach Byron Scott told reporters that the team expects Bryant to be ready:

“He says he feels a lot better but we've still got to get him out and just get him on the court, running and all that good stuff,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said Wednesday. “I just don't want him to lose any conditioning and I know he doesn't want to lose it. I'm not concerned. He'll be ready on the 28th.”

The Lakers are all-in on marketing Bryant’s return this season, his 20th with the team. The team’s media guide’s cover features 20 pictures of Bryant arranged in a 35-tile mosaic. He is returning from a torn rotator cuff that ended his 2014-15 season. Bryant has also suffered a torn Achilles tendon and fractured knee, both in his left leg, in recent years.

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