Kobe sits out practice again, still questionable for opener

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was not able to practice with the team Saturday with a right foot strain and his status for Tuesday night's opener against the Dallas Mavericks remains in question.

Bryant hasn't practiced or played with the team since last Sunday, when he was injured in the third quarter of the team's exhibition game against the Sacramento Kings. He finished that game, but the foot swelled up on him overnight and has kept him out ever since.

Lakers coach Mike Brown has said the team is unsure if Bryant will be able to go on Tuesday, but offered a bit of cautious optimism after practice Saturday.

"It would surprise me if he didn't play just because of how tough he is," Brown said. "But that's not coming from [Lakers trainer] Gary [Vitti], because I have not asked Gary.

"At the end of the day, it's going to be Gary's call. Right now he hasn't practiced. We'll have to see."

A 17-year veteran, Bryant missed several practices earlier in training camp because of discomfort in the same right foot. However, sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Wednesday night that this injury is in a different place on his right foot and is considerably more painful.

"Knowing Kobe I think he'll play because he plays through so much historically," Lakers forward Pau Gasol said. "But I think it is a little weird that he's been out for this long and he's showing that he's in pain. So we'll see."

Bryant has missed three practices and two games while rehabilitating the injury. His injury meant that the Lakers' new-look starting five of him, Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace played only one game together in the preseason. Jodie Meeks started in Bryant's place on Wednesday against the Clippers and Devin Ebanks started Thursday in San Diego against the Sacramento Kings.

The Lakers went 0-8 in the preseason, their worst preseason in franchise history.