Prior to the Los Angeles Lakers’ preseason loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, star shooting guard Kobe Bryant was a last-minute scratch from the active roster while dealing with a right shoulder strain.
Listed as day-to-day, it appears as though Bryant will suit up during the Lakers’ third preseason game on Saturday against the Utah Jazz.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Bryant stated that he “should be fine” for the showdown with the Jazz.
Before missing the game against the Trail Blazers, Bryant hit the court during the first preseason game when the Lakers dropped the ball against the Golden State Warriors. Although the game resulted in a 110-83 loss, it was good to see Bryant out on the court. Despite shooting 2-7 from the field, Bryant managed a team-high 10 points while adding three assists and a steal in 18 minutes of action.
Especially as the years continue to pile onto his knees, Bryant will need to get as much preseason action as possible in hopes of being at full speed when the regular season arrives. With six exhibition games remaining, though, there should be enough time for Bryant to shake off the injuries and prepare himself for an 82-game 2012-2013 campaign.
Luckily for Bryant, the pressure won’t be squarely on his shoulder this season. The Lakers added two future NBA Hall of Famers in point guard Steve Nash and center Dwight Howard this offseason, both of who will be able to handle some of Bryant’s typical workload.
We’ll see what happens when Saturday arrives. Chances are, though, that Bryant will play against the Jazz.