EL SEGUNDO, Calif – With the regular season a week away, the primary concern for the Los Angeles Lakers remains the health of their star players.
Kobe Bryant missed his second straight day of practice Tuesday with a strained right foot suffered when he was kicked during the third quarter of Sunday's 99-92 preseason loss to the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center.
A Lakers official said Bryant would be listed as day to day ahead of Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers, though Bryant himself was far less optimistic.
"Probably not," he said when asked if he would dress for Wednesday's game.
How about if it was a regular-season game?
"Probably not," Bryant said. "It's pretty sore."
Bryant missed several practices and sat out a game earlier in the preseason because of discomfort in the same right foot. Still, he indicated he was no more concerned about this injury than others throughout his career, and managed to find a silver lining.
"It's probably a good thing," he said. "It will slow me down a little bit. I've been going full bore pretty much every day."
Head coach Mike Brown wouldn't speculate on Bryant's availability for Thursday's preseason finale in San Diego against the Kings, or at what point the 17-year veteran would return.
"I don't know how serious it is. When it comes to Kobe sitting out, it's got to be bothering him," Brown said. "So we'll be patient with it, and he'll get it right. The medical staff will get it right, and whenever he's ready, he'll come back on the floor."
Center Dwight Howard was a limited participant in Tuesday's practice, as the Lakers continue treating with great care his recovery from back surgery last April. After making his Lakers debut Sunday, Howard said he was sore Monday.
"That's understandable," Brown said. "He hadn't played in a game for six months."
Like Bryant, Howard will be listed as day to day, though Brown said it's certainly possible he could sit, as well.
"The medical staff will evaluate him (Wednesday) and if he's still a little tight or a little sore or whatever, then we'll hold him out," he said.
Howard played 33 minutes Sunday, scoring 19 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking four shots.
Forward Pau Gasol believes the Lakers will be fine in the long run, but acknowledged the injuries have impacted the team's development in training camp.
"The more time we can spend together on the floor, the better off we'll be. But it hasn't really happened, so it is what it is. It's not going to be an excuse, but it's a reality," he said.
"It's going to set us back a little bit," Brown said of the injuries, "because those guys aren't out there getting reps without defense, they're not getting reps with defense. So it hinders you to a certain degree, but it's a long season. They'll be out there in time."
The Lakers did receive more positive news on the health front Tuesday, as Jordan Hill practiced in full and could be in the lineup Wednesday night. He has been rehabbing a herniated disc in his back during the team's first preseason game on Oct. 7 in Fresno.
Metta World Peace, who dislocated the ring finger on his right hand again, participated in practice wearing a heavy tape job, but indicated he wouldn't need it against the Clippers.
Brian Kamenetzky is a regular contributor for ESPNLosAngeles.com.