Kobe Byrant hasn't practiced since his team swept the Utah Jazz out of the NBA playoffs, and the Los Angeles Lakers star had "a significant amount of fluid" drained from his knee in preparation for Monday's series opener against the Phoenix Suns, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Bryant "came out (Sunday) and shot a little bit and tried to get in rhythm. We hope that he's on board and his game is right at that point where it needs to be."
Bryant, who is averaging 32 points per game in the playoffs, joins Lakers forward Andrew Bynum on the team's list of walking wounded. Bynum said the torn cartilage in his knee was "getting a little worse" and only practiced once since the Jazz series ended.
Bynum and Bryant are both expected to play in Game 1 at Staples Center on Monday night.
"At this point of the year, we need those guys during the game," forward Lamar Odom told the Times . "If they've got something that's ailing or something that's aching, that's bothering them, I'd much rather have them ready for game time."
The Lakers stand just four victories away from a 31st appearance in the NBA Finals.