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The Early Lead
Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 12/22/2011

Kobe Bryant has torn ligament in wrist, his status for opener is uncertain


Kobe Bryant’s wrist is the focus of concern for Luke Walton and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers. (Alex Gallardo / AP)

This isn’t the way Kobe Bryant would choose to take his mind off his impending divorce.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ star tore a ligament in his right wrist trying to break his fall in an exhibition game Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers. In a tightly compressed, 66-game NBA season, he is listed as day-to-day, opting to try to heal and play rather than having surgery. Bryant sat out a preseason game Wednesday night with his wrist heavily wrapped and is expected to try to play Sunday, in the Christmas Day season opener against the Chicago Bulls. He wasn’t talking to reporters about his injury.

“He plays through injuries that most people don’t,” teammate Luke Walton said. “I did see his wrist and it looked like Professor Klump because it was so swollen. But I think he’ll be ready by Sunday.”

An MRI revealed that Bryant tore his lunotriquetral ligament, which stabilizes two of the smaller bones on the outer part of the wrist, the Los Angeles Times reported. He would wear a padded brace if he plays Sunday.

“It’s tough for him to miss a game,” center Andrew Bynum said, “so I think he’ll be up and ready to go.”

The Lakers open the season with back-to-back games: Sunday in Staples Center, Monday at Sacramento and Tuesday against Utah in L.A. And the team’s biggest star is doubtful — this cannot be what Mike Brown was imagining when he took the Lakers’ job.

“I can’t speak to Sunday,” Brown said. “He may practice [Thursday], he may not. I’ll have a better feel soon.”

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By  |  12:38 PM ET, 12/22/2011

 
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