Could Kobe Bryant go from "out indefinitely" to "in immediately"? The Los Angeles Lakers' star guard severely sprained his ankle on Wednesday against the Hawks and was declared to be out indefinitely. Then he accused Dahntay Jones of foul play and his wife posted a picture of his swollen ankle. The chances of Kobe playing in either of the next two games were termed "not good" on Thursday, but then Kobe suddenly appeared at the team shootaround on Friday morning:
Kobe is at Lakers shootaround in Indianapolis now, getting treatment --an indication he might play tonight. He's not talking to media.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) March 15, 2013
Head coach Mike D'Antoni then officially upgraded Kobe's status to a game-time decision after the shootaround ended.
D'Antoni: Kobe is a game-time decision tonight. Meeks starts in his place if he can't go.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) March 15, 2013
A sudden and immediate return would reinforce Kobe's reputation as tough and competitive. He has played very well this season, and despite playing more minutes than any other player in the NBA this year (2,528 minutes) and more than every active player except Jason Kidd and Kevin Garnett over his career (44,905 minutes), he has not missed a game this season.
The Lakers are in a battle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference amid a disappointing season, and they currently hold half-game lead over the Utah Jazz for that final spot. L.A. will take on the Indiana Pacers on Friday night at 7 p.m. ET.