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Mike Brown says there' s a 'chance' Kobe Bryant will play in season opener

Though he provided no definitive timetable on how long Kobe Bryant would remain sidelined because of a torn ligament in his right wrist, Lakers Coach Mike Brown said "there's a chance" Bryant would in the Lakers' Christmas Day opener against the Chicago Bulls.

Bryant declined to speak with a few reporters who approached him while he sat on a courtside seat at Staples Center during Lakers' warmups. He wore a velcro strap and plastic brace around his right wrist. Toward the end of Lakers warmups, Bryant shot a few practice three-pointers with his left hand, and swished one of them. 

Midway through the third quarter of the Lakers-Clippers exhibition on Monday, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan swatted away Bryant's dunk attempt and sent him to the ground. Though Bryant landed awkwardly on his wrist, he immediately stood up and insisted afterwards that it felt "fine." He indicated the same after practicing Tuesday, though an MRI exam said otherwise. 

"I knew he landed on his wrist," Brown said of Bryant. "But I was not aware of being in significant pain. He did not tell me he was in pain, nor did his trainer tell me he was in pain."

Meanwhile, Brown plans to start Jason Kapono at shooting guard in the first half and training camp invitee Gerald Green in the second half. Brown also said he's considering giving playing time to rookie shooting guard Andrew Goudelock. 

Bryant's injury coincides with many other roster shifts, mainly the Lakers' trading Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks. Lakers forward Devin Ebanks had a sore right foot, an MRI exam came out negative and Brown plans to start him at small forward. Meanwhile, Lakers guard Derek Fisher will make his first appearance after missing the team's intrasquad scrimmage last week and the first preseason game.

As for future games, Brown said the decision will hinge on a collective agreement among himself, Bryant and the trainers, though he said doctors have to clear him to play first.

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
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