Such is the word from shootaround Monday afternoon in El Segundo. A summary:
Kobe Bryant wasn't in the building today, instead going for "some diagnostic tests," on his injured left ankle. The results should be known before tonight's game with the Spurs at Staples (7:30 pm PT), though when asked about it Phil Jackson just smiled. "Maybe not. Maybe after tip off." (That was a joke, people.) I asked if they were looking for specific structural damage, and PJ indicated the trip to the doctor was more cautionary. "You know, just to make sure" nothing is wrong. Or perhaps because Kobe wants to use up the deductible on his health plan early in the year just to get it over with.
Bryant is listed officially as a "game time decision."
The deciding on Andrew Bynum apparently won't take that long. "Andrew is probably not going to play tonight. He's got some discomfort, and cant' move very well," Jackson said. Bynum left Saturday's game in Portland with a hip injury in the first half, and didn't return.
As for the notion of encouraging Kobe to sit through the All-Star break, Jackson seemed dismissive. "We want to win out," he said. "The situation is perfect for us to keep pushing on the accelerator, keep it going. Momentum's really important for us. If it is that way (meaning Kobe doesn't play) it is, but we're just trying to get as many wins as we can."
So bottom line, we still don't know exactly what's going on with the ankle. Tests could truly be precautionary (to make sure there's nothing new/unusual going on if he wants to give it a go tonight) or an indication of larger concerns. I'll go out on a limb, though, and say Kobe will give it one more night of rest. Just a guess, though.