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Kobe Bryant ready to play on injured ankle

Lk6zjqnc Kobe Bryant sat in the stands inside the New Orleans Arena wearing dark sunglasses, just close enough to hear Lakers Coach Phil Jackson talk about the status of his All-Star guard for Thursday night's Game 6.

Bryant had declined to speak with the media about his sprained left ankle, but Jackson did talk about how his star would be limited in the game against the New Orleans Hornets.

"There's limitation on what he can do, obviously, but he tries to overcome," Jackson said at the team's shoot-around. "He's still a guy that's working on not 100%."

Bryant injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of Game 4 on Sunday but played in Game 5 Tuesday night at Staples Center, helping the Lakers open a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven playoff series.

Bryant played 29 minutes in Game 5 on the injured ankle, but Jackson wouldn't hesitate to play him more in Game 6.

"It's a matter of where his physical well-being is going to be with the ankle," Jackson said. "It's not whether he plays 28 minutes or 38 minutes. That obviously is going to put a little more stress on the ankle, but I think he can play 40 minutes tonight if he has to."

Jackson said they hoped to close out the series against the Hornets on Thursday night not so much to get some rest but so they don't prolong the series.

"These games are full of physical contact," Jackson said, "and there's plenty of things that can happen that take teams out of their rhythm, take players out of the game."

 -- Broderick Turner, reporting from New Orleans

Photo: Lakers Kobe Bryant grimaces after injuring his ankle against he Hornets in Game 4 of the NBA playoffs in New Orleans Sunday. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times

 
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@888.. Appreciate the comments on gasol but no way that guy withstands the physicality of play of those yesterdays IMO. No way! Some players games are just better suited for certain eras and his style of play is tailor made for todays whistle happy ticky tack rules. Can you imagine what charles oakley would do to pau today? Actually let's not go there.

And ur right about the nba being out of control... Stern will make sure miami and boston goes 7 games. And count on orlando and portland goin 7 games as well tonight. And lakers better take care of business and not leave it to the refs.. Count on bynum two early 1st qtr fouls 2nite. Take that to the bank.

Gasol made the assist to Kobe's first dunk that turned around the game and probably the series...and the pass was ...fantastic...! if you watch it again...that's what Gasol does...he's extremely valuable to the Lakers.
Go Lakers ! from Switzerland ...
I was at the first game at Staples Center against Huston and Yao at the beginning of the season...
Go Lakers...de-fense !

And congratulations to Jerry Buss and family for all those years of basket-ball !
thank You very much !

Thats what i'm talking about phillip, close them out tonight. I like the sound of that.

Go Lakers!

Yes close them out. Go Lakers1985


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