Kobe Bryant Has Sprained Ankle, Says He Will Play In Game 5

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Kobe Bryant Refused MRI, X-Rays On Ankle Injury Despite Lakers' Insistence, Says Report

Kobe Bryant, who injured his ankle late in the Los Angeles Lakers' Sunday loss to the New Orleans Hornets, refused to undergo an MRI or X-rays on Monday despite the insistence of the team's training staff, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times. Kobe maintains that he'll play in Game 5 of the series on Tuesday. The Hornets pulled into a 2-2 tie on Sunday as Chris Paul registered a magnificent triple-double, occassionally with Bryant himself guarding him.

Kobe injured his ankle, though, guarding the somewhat less devilish Willie Green. Bryant missed just 15 seconds of game action, refusing to exit for Shannon Brown in the final minute of the game. He did come out as Brown took over on a defensive possession; Bryant eventually missed a fading three-pointer with four seconds left that guaranteed the Hornets' win.

Medina digs into why Kobe refused the tests; the overarching theme seems to be that he doesn't want to know if there's seriously something wrong, and doesn't want to have a public face-off with the franchise if the results show an injury he cannot play on without risk of serious injury. Let it be noted, however, that Kobe is a P.R. master who is certainly the most image-conscious NBA player active today, and maybe only second in history to Michael Jordan. In particular, Bryant has sought to bolster his (earned, in fairness) reputation as a tough hombre.

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Kobe Bryant Injury: Lakers Say Sprained Ankle, Kobe Says 'I Should Play'

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has a sprained left ankle and is listed as day to day, according to a team spokesman on Monday.

There's no doubt as to whether or not Kobe will play in Tuesday's Game 5, according to Phil Jackson.

"He says he'll play."

Bryant spent Monday undergoing treatment on the ankle, according to Jackson, including icing, electrostimulation and massage. Kobe refused to undergo any further examination of the injury through X-rays or an MRI, something that went against the wishes of the Lakers front office.

According to Jackson, Kobe "won't let [The Lakers medical team] deal with it."

As for Kobe himself, he was blunt, as you might expect.

"I should play...It's going to take a lot to stop me from playing."

Be sure to follow our Lakers vs. Hornets hub for full coverage of the series. For more on the Lakers, visit Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles.

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Kobe Bryant Injury Causes Lakers' Star To Leave Arena On Crutches

Kobe Bryant rolled his ankle in the closing moments of the Los Angeles Lakers' Game 4 loss to the New Orleans Hornets late Sunday. He missed just 16 seconds of action, and took a deep three-pointer with four seconds left and the Lakers down four. (He missed.) Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that Kobe left New Orleans Arena on crutches after the game, with his left foot swollen.

Bryant may have an MRI on Monday as the Lakers travel back to Los Angeles for Game 5, Spears reports. Kobe suffered an ankle turn that looked brutal late in the regular season, but didn't miss any games due to the injury. Bryant told Spears that he expects to play in Game 5, scheduled for Tuesday night, despite the swollen foot. If he doesn't play, L.A. could be in a world of hurt, as Ron Artest has been the Lakers' No. 2 scorer behind Kobe during this series. Pau Gasol is averaging just 12 points and six rebounds and shooting less than 40 percent against New Orleans.

Be sure to follow our Lakers vs. Hornets hub for full coverage of the series. For more on the Lakers, visit Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles.

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