EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant sat out practice Friday for a second straight day with a lower leg contusion and has been ruled out of Saturday’s preseason game against the Golden State Warriors in San Diego.
The 37-year-old Bryant suffered his injury Tuesday during a preseason loss to the Sacramento Kings in Las Vegas, but Lakers coach Byron Scott said he isn’t worried about Bryant, whose past three seasons have all been cut short by injury.
“No, not really. Not at all, to be honest with you,” Scott said Friday after practice at the team facility. “It’s just a little soreness on the muscle. It’s not bone or anything like that.
“He came out [Friday] and got some shooting up, but, again, for precautionary reasons there’s no need to have him try to play [Saturday] when we’ve got two more preseason games after that and six days before the start of the regular season.”
Scott further framed the decision as precautionary by noting Bryant would stand a better chance to play if Saturday’s were a regular-season game.
“I think if [Saturday] was a regular-season game, there would be a much better chance of him playing, but since it’s not, there’s no need for him to play [Saturday] night.”
Bryant’s status moving forward will depend on how he feels, Scott said. After Saturday’s game, the Lakers have a preseason game Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center and then face the Warriors again on Thursday in Anaheim.
The Lakers open the regular season Oct. 28 against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center. Bryant returned to the court this preseason after spending nine months rehabbing a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, which ended his 2014-15 season after 35 games. His prior two seasons ended because of Achilles and knee injuries.
Bryant is entering his 20th season with the Lakers and the final season of his contract with the team, during which he’ll be paid a league-high $25 million.