Kobe Bryant got several hours of treatment on his sprained left ankle Thursday in hopes of staying on the court to continue the Los Angeles Lakers' playoff push.
The fifth-leading scorer in NBA history was hurt when he landed on the foot of Atlanta's Dahntay Jones with 3 seconds left in the Lakers' 96-92 loss to the Hawks on Wednesday night. Bryant rolled on the ground and left the court in anger and pain, later calling it the worst sprained ankle of his 17 NBA seasons.
Bryant tweeted Thursday that his ankle was "still very swollen. Treatment all day." The Lakers had the day off Thursday in Indianapolis, the final stop on their three-game road trip.
Bryant is still angry at Jones' questionable defensive tactics, too. Thursday's tweet included a hashtag: "cleanupthegame."
Lakers trainer Gary Vitti was scheduled to treat Bryant in the afternoon and again in the evening. Team spokesman John Black said the Lakers wouldn't have an update on his condition until Friday, although Bryant tweeted a photo of his swollen ankle.
Although the team announced Bryant was out "indefinitely," those familiar with Bryant's toughness won't assume he's missing any games until Kobe says so.
Los Angeles faces the Central Division-leading Pacers on Friday before returning home to host Sacramento on Sunday. With 17 wins in 23 games before their loss to Atlanta, the Lakers (34-32) are a half-game ahead of Utah (33-32) for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Bryant is an uncommonly durable player who hasn't missed a game this season. He is the NBA's third-leading scorer with 27.5 points per game, keeping the Lakers afloat during a tumultuous year including the early firing of coach Mike Brown, a prolonged skid, All-Star center Dwight Howard's struggles to fit in with his new team, and the death of owner Jerry Buss.
Although Bryant has played through countless minor injuries to his ankles in recent years, he was particularly upset at Jones' tactics after this fall. Bryant thought Jones moved underneath him while Bryant was in the air for a potential game-tying fadeaway jumper, leaving Bryant with nowhere to land.