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Lakers now calling Bryant a game-time decision

The SportsXchange

After Kobe Bryant went down at the end of Wednesday night's game with a severe ankle injury, it looked as though the Los Angeles Lakers' All-Star guard might be out for a while.

Not so fast.

The Lakers, who had listed Bryant as out indefinitely, changed him to a game-time decision for Friday night's matchup with the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis.

Bryant has received around-the-clock attention from the training staff on his left ankle since he came down on the foot of Atlanta's Dahntay Jones on Wednesday night. Jones said Thursday that he didn't intend to injury Bryant, but the NBA responded by saying a foul should have been called on the shot.

"He's getting treatment," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters after a morning shootaround at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. "It'll get better every day and then we'll see. When he can go he'll go. He's pretty remarkable on how he recovers."

Jodie Meeks is prepared to start in Bryant's place on Friday night if he's unavailable.

In other news on the Lakers' injury front, D'Antoni said center Pau Gasol is close to returning from a plantar fascia tear. Gasol hasn't played in five weeks.

"Sometime Sunday, Monday right through there he'll be ready to roll, hopefully, with no setbacks," D'Antoni said.

The Lakers are fighting for a postseason berth entering Friday's game. They currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, leading ninth-place Utah by a half game..
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