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Saturday, February 20, 2010
Kobe Bryant hopes to play Tuesday in Memphis

By Brian Kamenetzky

Lakers fans have been waiting for some good news on Kobe Bryant's ankle injury, and Saturday in El Segundo, he delivered.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles reports:
Bryant practiced Saturday for the first time since Feb. 15 and when asked what he learned from the session he said, "I got that I'm able to play." "Today it felt very, very good," Bryant said. "I can jump, I can drive, push off [and] I can get to the basket. It's just a matter of now of how it feels tomorrow, I guess. "The Lakers don't practice Sunday but Bryant will undergo personal training to test the ankle again... Bryant said: "It's still a little sore at certain points but it went away. It didn't linger or anything like that. I was able to move and do pretty much anything I wanted."

While Phil Jackson took a more cautious approach, saying Kobe's performance Saturday was "measured," Bryant indicated he'd be on the floor Tuesday night in Memphis barring any setbacks.

Given how the injury seemed to evolve, starting at the ankle and moving up the leg, I'm sure I wasn't the only person wondering if Bryant might have to miss more time. Through next week's back-to-back in Memphis and Dallas, perhaps, maybe even longer. Talking to Brian Long and Mychal Thompson on 710 radio's LA Sports Live Friday afternoon, GM Mitch Kupchak said if 24 needed another week or two to heal fully, it was perfectly "fine by (the Lakers)."

Looks like that may not be necessary.

For Sasha Vujacic, the news wasn't as good. He'll be sidelined at least two weeks after spraining his right shoulder- his shooting arm- against the Celtics Thursday night. No surprise, given how much pain Sasha was in after the game. Quite literally, he had trouble getting dressed.

No disrespect to The Machine, it's a swap of shooting guards the purple and gold faithful will take in a heartbeat.