On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers found a gym in Phoenix and held a spirited practice session.
Unfortunately, the Lakers' practice update turned into an injury update when cameras caught up with Lakers coach Byron Scott.
In no uncertain terms, Scott said he did not expect Tarik Black to be available in New Orleans on Wednesday. Although X-rays came back negative, the Lakers' rookie suffered an ankle sprain and had to be carried off the court visibly grimacing in pain. Scott said that Friday may even be a bit too early for the big man to return.
With Black out, Robert Sacre should get another crack at the rotation. Sacre, who helped carry Black off the court, has not played a single minute in any of the Lakers' last five games due to Black's emergence.
Also, Carlos Boozer did not practice on Tuesday due to a contusion in his left tricep. However, Scott sounded confident that Boozer would be available on Wednesday night in the "Big Easy."
Kobe Bryant did not practice on Tuesday because, well, he didn't arrive in time. Scott predicted that Bryant would likely find a gym in New Orleans to get his work in. The coach revealed that the plan was for Bryant to play on Wednesday against the Pelicans and on Friday against the Spurs. However, the coach cautiously refused to speak in certain terms and said Bryant's status would be reevaluated on Wednesday morning at shootaround. Officially, the team listed Bryant as questionable.
For those fans looking ahead, playing Bryant on Wednesday and Friday on the road would likely mean Bryant would not play on Sunday at Staples Center against Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets. The two former teammates have only met once since Howard hopped a flight to Houston, and that Opening Night encounter featured elbows from Howard and Bryant calling the Rockets' center "soft."
Finally, Ronnie Price's status is also questionable for Wednesday, as the 31-year-old veteran has missed the last two games with a sore right elbow. Seeing as Scott sounded as if he was sitting Price as a precaution on Monday, one would expect the Lakers will have their starting point guard back on Wednesday night. Price did take part in practice on Tuesday but was instructed not to use his right arm.
The Lakers and Pelican will tip off at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.