Kobe Bryant spoke to media following the Los Angeles Lakers' loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder and said he expects to play against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. Lakers head coach Byron Scott elaborated further, revealing team doctors in Oklahoma City examined Bryant's shoulder and determined there was no further injury than general soreness.
"Just let it rest," Kobe told media of how he'll prepare to deal with his shoulder going forward. "It's a pretty heavy duty surgery I had this summer, so I think it's kind of logical to expect it to be sore at some point."
Bryant said he'd felt soreness in games leading up to and in the days after the Lakers' loss to the Houston Rockets, a sign that the daily wear and tear of the NBA season is to blame more than his dunk on Clint Capela. He noted that extending up for his one-handed slam probably didn't help with the trouble he was already having with his surgically-repaired shoulder.
"It just means it was a more thunderous dunk than we all thought," Kobe added.
The Lakers have a stretch of time off before facing the Nuggets, giving Bryant's sore right shoulder some needed additional rest. The plan, from Kobe's own words after the game, is for him to return the next time the team hits the court. We'll follow up with any updates in the coming days, but it seems like the Lakers and Kobe are in the clear from any major setbacks.
*Quotes transcribed via Time Warner Cable SportsNet