The Los Angeles Lakers will go to battle tonight against the San Antonio Spurs without their commander and captain as Kobe Bryant will sit out for the third straight game. Bryant suffered the injury back on March 31st, when he was kicked on the shin in a game against the New Orleans Hornets. Even though he has shown improvement, Vitti and the medical staff have decided that a completely rested and healed Kobe is better for the long-term success of the Lakers as they enter the playoffs.
Per ESPN LA:
Really, the only way to stop [the inflammation] is to shut him down," longtime Lakers trainer Gary Vitti said Saturday.
Vitti re-evaluated Bryant on Monday in New Orleans and Tuesday in San Antonio and reported improvements after each examination. Bryant's status remains day to day, according to the team.
The silver lining in all of this, is that Kobe finally gets the rest he so badly needed as his body had begun to give out on him. A healthy Kobe for the Lakers is imperative as they look for Banner 17, and in this, Mike Brown and Gary Vitti see eye-to-eye.
Head athletic trainer Gary Vitti said that shutting Bryant down was the only way to ensure he’d heal fully and be healthy heading into the stretch run of the regular season and playoffs, and head coach Mike Brown has repeatedly supported the plan of making sure Kobe’s both healthy and rested.
Tonight will mark the first of three meetings in the span of ten days against the Spurs. The Lakers only sit 2.5 games ahead of the fourth-place Clippers, so any win is important if the Purple & Gold wish to maintain the third seed heading into the playoffs.