Kobe Bryant Injury: Lakers Star Must Not Rush Back from Sprained Ankle

Kobe Bryant is a game-time decision for the Los Angeles Lakers’ contest against the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, but it would do the team more harm than good if the Black Mamba prematurely returned to the lineup.

According to ESPN Los Angeles’ David McMenamin, coach Mike D’Antoni gave a cryptic response when addressing Bryant’s ankle and potential return following a shootaround on Friday afternoon.

"He's getting treatment," said D’Antoni. "Obviously he'll get better every day, and we'll see. When he can go, he'll go."

Considering Bryant’s passion for the game and obsession with winning, it’s not a surprise that he’s fervently rehabilitating his sprained ankle and doing everything he can to get back on the court as soon as possible.

The Lakers superstar posted a message via Twitter on Thursday, mentioning that he had watched three films and slept for just an hour to compress and ice the ankle.

Hours later, Bryant unveiled a close-up picture of the ankle and noted that this type of injury has only happened twice during his 17-year career.

Interestingly enough, the last time Bryant suffered this type of sprain came all the way back during the 2000 NBA Finals. In Game 2, Jalen Rose successfully attempted to injure the shooting guard by impeding his landing after he went up for a routine jump shot.

Bryant was unable to go in Game 3 and didn't see the court until Game 4, five days after the incident occurred.

Nearly 13 years later, Dahntay Jones of the Atlanta Hawks performed a similar defensive tactic with much the same results (Jones claims it was unintentional). However, Bryant is much older now and it's quite a stretch to think he’d be able to return after just two days of recovery time.

Because the highly controversial play happened on Wednesday night and Bryant&rsquo...

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