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Kobe Bryant says he will play in season opener

December 22, 2011 |  2:58 pm


Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is expected to play in the season opener Sunday against Chicago, saying his right wrist "should be fine."

Bryant sustained a torn ligament in the wrist while trying to break his fall in Monday's exhibition game against the Clippers. He sat out practice Thursday.

He said his wrist was still "swollen and painful" but, "It's always been in my nature to try to figure out a way to play."

An MRI exam Wednesday confirmed a tear of the lunotriquetral ligament, which stabilizes two of the smaller bones on the outer part of the wrist. Bryant would use a padded device on the wrist if he played Sunday.

"It's not really going to heal. The ligament's gone. There's nothing I can do about it," he said. "But I've dealt with so many hand injuries, I should be all right."

In December 2009, Bryant sustained a fracture in his right index finger six weeks into the season and continued to play, though it hurt for several minutes whenever the finger was hit in a game.

The Lakers eventually won the championship that season. Bryant was the NBA Finals MVP.


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--Mike Bresnahan

 Photo: Kobe Bryant during the first exhibition game against the Clippers. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times.