The Los Angeles Lakers have shut down Kobe Bryant for the remainder of the preseason in a bid to get the ailing All Star guard fit for next week's regular season opener, the team said on Wednesday.
Bryant, who strained his right foot at the weekend, missed the Lakers' exhibition loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday and will also sit out of Thursday's preseason finale against Sacramento.
The Lakers begin their regular season campaign on Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks.
The 34-year-old Bryant, entering his 17th NBA campaign, would have his injury reevaluated this weekend, the Lakers said on their official website.
Bryant is pursuing his sixth NBA Championship and the Lakers have surrounded him with the talent to do so, acquiring All Stars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the offseason.
Howard made his Lakers debut on Sunday, his first action since he underwent back surgery in April. After sitting out against the Clippers on Wednesday, Howard is expected to play against Sacramento and should be ready for the opening regular season game. (Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; [email protected]; Editing by Peter Rutherford)