One day after it was revealed that he wanted to play in all 82 games this season, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant sat out Tuesday night's 101-88 loss to the Miami Heat because of a back injury.
"I had trouble walking," Bryant said, according to ESPN.com. "I've been dealing with the back a little bit during training camp. Today, I couldn't shake it free."
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Lakers coach Byron Scott said he expects Bryant to miss Wednesday's game against the Orlando Magic given his current limitations.
"When it's the back, you are concerned," Scott said. "He said he wanted to come over and get some treatment to see how he felt before the game."
Bryant, who has dealt with an assortment of serious injuries over the past three seasons, said it's not an "injury-injury," and that he's not too concerned about it despite how severe it sounds. He's in his 20th season, and the wear and tear of being a 37-year-old trying to fight Father Time can take its toll here and there. It's not a big deal to him.
But Scott disagreed with Bryant and expressed more caution, saying "the level of concern is pretty up there right now."
For Bryant, the biggest disappointment of the night was the fact that he didn't get to suit up for the Lakers fans that came to American Airlines Arena to see him play in what could very well be his final season.
"If I'm capable of playing, I want to make sure I get out there and play," Bryant said. "For the fans who came and watched tonight, it was very tough to not be out there.
"If I can walk and perform, I deserve to be out there playing, and the fans deserve to see me out there playing."
Metta World Peace started in Bryant's place, scoring 14 points in 22 minutes.