Lakers G Kobe Bryant will miss at least six weeks with a broken bone in his right hand, meaning he'll sit out about three weeks of the regular season.

Bryant, 21, broke a bone in his shooting hand during Wednesday night's preseason game against the Wizards in Kansas City, Mo.

Bryant was examined yesterday by team doctor Steve Lombardo and hand specialist Norman Zemel, who placed the hand in a cast. . . .

Rookie F-C Jonathan Bender broke his wrist in the Pacers' exhibition game Wednesday night and will be out four to six weeks. Bender, 18, was the fifth player selected in the June draft.

* TAKING IT EASY: David Robinson's annual battle with back problems will limit his playing time in the McDonald's Championship in Milan, Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich said.

Robinson sat out the NBA champions' first exhibition game, a 98-97 victory at Philadelphia on Sunday, because of a stiff lower back.

"His back's a little bit better," Popovich said after running his team through a light practice, "but we don't want to do anything that could hurt him down the line."

Robinson said he skipped Sunday's game as a "precautionary measure," but hopes to be on the court as much as possible in Milan.

San Antonio will play for the first time in this six-team tournament in a semifinal today.