Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said he will play tonight against the Dallas Mavericks after a foot injury kept him sidelined for the past nine days, according to the team’s Twitter page.
Bryant, 34, participated fully in a shoot-around today before the National Basketball Association team’s first game of the season, the Lakers said on Twitter. It was the first basketball activity in more than a week for Bryant, who strained his right foot in an Oct. 21 preseason game against the Sacramento Kings.
Bryant said yesterday on his Facebook page that he was “getting stronger.”
“I will know more after shoot-around tomorrow,” Bryant said. “It’s still painful to raise up on my toes but it’s strong. The decision to be made is whether the injury can heal while playing on it, or if it will make it worse.”
A 14-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion, Bryant has scored 29,484 points in his career, 5,000 more than the next closest active player, Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett. He has missed 24 regular-season games in the past seven seasons, according to CBS Sports, with 17 coming in the past three years.
The Lakers during the offseason traded for 38-year-old point guard Steve Nash, a two-time league Most Valuable Player, and 26-year-old center Dwight Howard, a six-time All-Star.
The team has battled injuries and went 0-8 in the preseason, the only one of the NBA’s 30 teams to go winless during its exhibition schedule.
The other NBA openers tonight are Washington at Cleveland and Boston at Miami.
-- Editors: Michael Sillup, Rob Gloster
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