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Kobe Bryant rests hurt ankle

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Pau Gasol called Wednesday's Los Angeles Lakers practice "a hard one," as the team got things going after an off day Tuesday. Turns out Kobe Bryant got a hard day's work off.

Bryant, who came in to the Lakers' practice facility on the off day to receive treatment on the left ankle he sprained two games ago against Dallas, opted to sit out Wednesday. The Lakers' next game is not until Friday at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"It's still an ankle that was badly sprained," said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. "He's got to be doing therapy a lot. Today, he stayed off it. Tomorrow he may come out on the court."

Jackson said he asked Bryant if he would be able to join the team on the court Thursday to get some shots up and work on his rhythm. Bryant is averaging just 16 points while shooting 13-for-39 (33.3 percent) in his past two games, both marks well below his season averages of 24.8 points per game on 45.4 percent shooting.

"We'll see about that," Jackson said. "Today was just his therapy and some strength and conditioning that he can do."

Following the Lakers' Christmas Day loss to the Miami Heat, Bryant vowed to ramp up his participation in team practices but has dialed it back down since then. Bryant rarely practiced, if at all, during the Lakers' playoff run last season, opting to save his legs for the games.

Despite the sporadic practicing, Bryant has played in all 68 games for the Lakers this season.

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.