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Will Kobe play opening night? Pau Gasol ‘has his doubts.’

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 21: Kobe Bryant #24 and Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers confer during the game with the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on October 21, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Kings won 99-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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When Kobe Bryant was shut down for the remainder of the preseason last week due to a foot injury, there seemed to be very little to be concerned about. First of all, there were only two games left, and considering that they were on consecutive days, even a fully healthy Bryant might have sat one of them out just to rest.

Second, and more importantly, Bryant is among the game’s most durable players -- he’s stubbornly played through serious injuries throughout his career, and did so most recently a season ago when he suffered a torn ligament in his right wrist.

But this foot injury that’s kept him out of those preseason games, and kept him from practicing since it occurred seems more difficult to play through than perhaps the others. Even so, the report that Bryant might not be ready for the season opener seemed a bit premature, again, given Bryant’s history.

After the team practiced on Sunday -- without Bryant, of course -- Pau Gasol was less than optimistic regarding his teammate’s availability for the season opener just two days from now.

Via ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin:

Pau on whether Kobe will play Tuesday: “I have my doubts ... It’s no joke. I can’t remember the last time Kobe didn’t practice for 6 days”

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 28, 2012


The reality is, with limited information on the injury in terms of the exact nature of it or the expected recovery time (remember, the team initially set no timetable for his return), we have no idea if Bryant will be ready to go Tuesday night.

But if there was ever a season where Bryant should take his time coming back to make sure he’s as close to 100 percent as possible, with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash as his newly-minted teammates capable of handling things while he’s away, this one would seem to be it.