Kobe Bryant ankle update

Given the state of his left ankle when he left Staples after Wednesday's win over the Bobcats, it would have been far more shocking to see Kobe Bryant on the floor Thursday at practice in El Segundo than not. He wasn't. Nor did he speak with the media. The official word from Lakers PR calls the injury a "sprain." As for his status, call it day-to-day, call it a gametime decision, call it Al. It doesn't really matter.

Assume he'll try to play until it's clear he won't. That's how he rolls. ""That wheel's gonna really have to hurt for him not to play," Lamar Odom said.

Phil Jackson wouldn't commit to having Bryant in uniform Friday night against the Nuggets, but certainly didn't disqualify it. "I'm sure he wants to (play)," PJ said. "We'll see what that's about tomorrow." As for the notion of at some point forcing Kobe to sit (I'd recommend picking up a few of these), Jackson acknowledged the possibility. "It occurred to me yesterday, during the course of that game."

I doubt it'll happen. The Lakers will almost surely allow Kobe to make such a decision himself while measuring his output on the floor to best preserve his body. Could there be a point where Kobe sits? Maybe. I'll probably believe it when I see it. Should there be? As much pride as Bryant takes in his ability to play (and play well) through pain, as much enjoyment as he gets from the challenge, he owes it to his teammates to recognize the point where he's jeopardizing their collective success down the road by not allowing himself to get as healthy as can be expected.

Where that line is drawn is tough to know. Lakers fans will likely just have to trust Kobe to see it. I think he can and will... it's just in a different spot than it would be for most of humanity.