ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -Kobe Bryant was held out of the Lakers' preseason game Thursday night because of residual swelling in his right knee following a collision with teammate Josh Powell on Tuesday night against Charlotte.
``I've got a little bit of puffiness in the back of the knee. It's just from the trauma of landing the way I landed,'' Bryant said about an hour before his teammates faced Charlotte again. ``So we'll just knock that out and make sure the swelling's out of there, which should be soon. Then I'm OK. After seeing the injury on TV, I'm surprised it's not worse, to be honest.''
Bryant, the NBA's reigning MVP, was injured under Los Angeles' basket in the second quarter when went for a rebound and banged knees with Powell.
stuff you do during the regular season - not in preseason.''
Bryant hopes to play Friday night in the preseason finale against Oklahoma City at Ontario, Calif., and coach Phil Jackson hasn't ruled out that possibility. But Jackson said it Bryant can't go, the club may talk with Bryant about having some diagnostic tests done on the knee. The 10-time All-Star chose not to undergo an MRI exam.
``If I can run, if I can jump, if I can do lunges, leg curls and leg extensions, chances are there's no structural damage,'' Bryant said, grinning. ``You know what I'm saying? If I don't have to walk with more of a bop that I normally walk with, it's fine. So I'm good. There's no need to waste their money.''
Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic, who has yet to play in the preseason because of an avulsion fracture in his left ankle, wants to get some minutes in the preseason finale. He was examined by a foot specialist Thursday.
``It feels better,'' said Vujacic, who signed a three-year, $15 million contract on July 28. ``There's no sharp pain, but it's still a little bit irritated. I just have to face it and play with it. Tomorrow I'm going to do the full practice and then we go from there. I'm going to be there and I'm going to be in uniform, which I'm excited about. But if the coach doesn't play me, that's not my decision. We'll see.''
Powell missed the game Thursday because of a strained left hamstring.

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Bulls vs. Lakers Pick Are the Los Angeles Lakers going to protect their home court tonight at 10:30PM ET when they host the Chicago...
Thumbnail Nuggets vs. Kings Prediction Are the Denver Nuggets laying too many points tonight to the Sacramento Kings? Or is Denver a good bet to cover with Sacramento struggling?
Thumbnail Hawks vs. Spurs Prediction The San Antonio Spurs are nearly double-digit home favorites tonight against the visiting Atlanta Hawks. Will the Spurs cover the big number or will the Hawks keep it...
Thumbnail Clippers vs. Knicks Prediction Will the struggling Los Angeles Clippers fall once again when they visit the New York Knicks tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET? The Clippers are...
Thumbnail Celtics vs. Mavericks Pick Are the Boston Celtics going to win a 16th straight game and cover the spread tonight at the Dallas Mavericks? Game time...

NBA Team Pages