Bryant's ankle still bothering him

Updated: February 11, 2010, 11:33 AM ET
By Dave McMenamin | ESPNLosAngeles.com

SALT LAKE CITY -- Kobe Bryant sat out the Lakers' 96-81 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday with a sore left ankle.

It was not a big surprise, since Lakers coach Phil Jackson had said before the game, "I don't anticipate him playing."

The next decision is whether Bryant plays in Sunday's All-Star Game.

Bryant was on L.A.'s active roster Wednesday night at Utah, but he did not dress and was not with the Lakers on the bench. He had been seen in the locker room napping on the trainer's table but was not going through his customary massage and pregame ankle-taping routine.

Bryant has missed the Lakers' past three games with a sprained left ankle. Bryant first injured the ankle seven games ago, on Jan. 29 in Philadelphia, after a third-quarter collision with Sixers forward Elton Brand. The condition of the ankle worsened in a 99-97 victory over the Hornets on Feb. 3 when Lamar Odom stepped on Bryant's left foot just before halftime, aggravating the injury.

Andrew Bynum was also inactive Wednesday night with a bruised right hip. He missed his second straight game.

If the swelling in Bynum's hip does not subside on its own, he plans to have the hip's bursa sac drained after the All-Star break. He said he will make the determination Monday.

Bynum's right hip was injured Saturday when he was fouled by Portland's Juwan Howard with 10:58 remaining in the first quarter and landed hard on the floor. He played the next four minutes before subbing out and heading directly to the locker room to have his hip attended to. He did not play in the second half and missed the Lakers' following game against the Spurs.

Bynum said he is hopeful that his hip's swelling follows the same course as his left knee, which was bothering him after a knee-to-knee collision with Charlotte's Stephen Jackson last week but has healed naturally.

Odom left practice on Monday to receive an MRI and CAT scan on his sore right foot, but he did play Wednesday in the victory over the Jazz. Odom scored a game-high 25 points (7-of-9 on FGs, 11-of-12 on FTs) and added 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com

Dave McMenamin

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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