Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni "anticipates" that Kobe Bryant will play through his severely sprained left ankle and start Friday against the Pacers, according to the team's sideline reporter Mike Trudell.
For more on the story, visit Silver Screen & Roll
Trudell reports that D'Antoni first called Bryant a "game-time decision" before being pressed into admitting that he expects him to be on the court. D'Antoni also shared that he doesn't intend Bryant to be used as a decoy.
Bryant initially suffered the injury after landing awkwardly on Dahntay Jones foot following his potential game-tying, fade-away jump shot with 3.9 seconds remaining in Wednesday's loss to the Hawks. Bryant was originally ruled out indefinitely after the injury, but his condition has apparently improved. Jones has since claimed that he wasn't trying to intentionally injure Bryant despite their tumultuous history.
Bryant is currently tied for second in the NBA in points per game at 27.5. Bryant is also averaging 5.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game and has yet to miss a game this season.
The Lakers currently hold a half-game lead over the Utah Jazz for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.