EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell (moderate right-ankle sprain) is doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Washington Wizards, while superstar Kobe Bryant (sore right shoulder) expects to play, according to coach Byron Scott.
Bryant also plans on playing Monday in Utah, which would mark only the third set of back-to-back games he will have played in over the past two months.
“Kobe said he will play tomorrow,” Scott said Saturday. “He wants to play these next two back-to-back games. D’Angelo is doubtful for tomorrow, but we’ll wait for tomorrow to see how he feels. Other than that, everybody is healthy.”
Russell did not practice on Saturday, receiving treatment instead. He will continue to receive treatment until about 5 p.m. on Sunday -- 2½ hours before tipoff -- at which point he will run through various on-court exercises to determine his mobility and official game status.
“I have to be able to see him run around with no pain, no limping at all,” Scott said. “We have one main test that we do towards the end of all the other stuff he has to do, and if he passes that, great. If he doesn’t, then he probably won’t play tomorrow.”
Lakers trainer Gary Vitti told Scott that there is no long-term damage to Russell's ankle, as the swelling has continued to decrease. A Lakers spokesman said X-rays came back negative on Friday.
Russell can now walk on his ankle, which he was initially unable to do upon injuring it in the second quarter of the Lakers’ 116-105 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. But that doesn’t mean he’s game-ready.
“He’s able to walk on it,” Scott said. “But walking and running and cutting are two different things.”
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft is averaging 13.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals in 27.5 minutes per game. Since the All-Star break, those figures have bumped up to 16 points and 3.7 assists in 28.7 minutes per game.
As for Bryant, Scott believes there’s a solid chance he will play in all of the team’s final 10 games -- as long as he can withstand the rigorous nature of the schedule.
“I think there’s a chance,” Scott said. “Like I said last night, he wants to. That’s half the battle right there. You guys know Kobe. When he wants to, it takes a serious injury to keep him out. I could foresee him playing in these last 10 games.
“Hopefully everything stays the same as far as his shoulder is concerned. But I’m also afraid that we’ve got three [games] in the next four days, and that might start to wear on him a little bit. But I’m hoping it doesn’t.”