The Los Angeles Lakers met for Monday afternoon practice after only suiting up 10 players in a dreadful defeat to the Utah Jazz only one night earlier.
Kobe Bryant, Brandon Bass and D'Angelo Russell had all missed the game due to various ailments. Bryant had been a late scratch from Sunday's contest due to a strained right Achilles, and it is worth noting that his previous rupture in 2013 occurred on Bryant's left Achilles. The Lakers listed Bryant as questionable, and the 37-year-old came in to get treatment but did not speak with reporters.
On Monday, Russell went to a doctor and the examination confirmed that he had a sprained ankle, which had the 19-year-old listed as probable for Tuesday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans. At Monday's practice, the rookie said he had never sprained an ankle before, so he did not know how to compare it with other sprains.
"It's the first time (I've sprained my ankle)," Russell said. "I never really wear tape or high top shoes and did all that. I just played and was blessed enough not to go through the ankle sprain phases. I'm not used to it, so I'm trying to take it slow."
Russell said that he probably would not tape his ankles longer than would be required.
Of the injured trio, Bass looked in the best shape to get back on the court, primarily because he was visible on the court when the media entered practice on Monday. Bass got poked in the eye and suffered a corneal abrasion, which held the power forward out of Sunday's loss to the Utah Jazz. Lakers coach Byron Scott called Monday's practice "light," but Bass was able to take part. As such, the Lakers' backup big man is listed as probable for Tuesday's game.
Also, the Lakers held Julius Randle out of Monday's practice, as the second-year is fighting off a bruised bone in his foot. Randle left Sunday's game due to the bone bruise, but the 21-year-old returned after being re-bandaged up by Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti. Like Bass, Randle is also considered probable for Tuesday's game, but the team opted to rest Randle's foot for a day in the hopes that the time off helps the healing process.
Notes: Ryan Kelly and Tarik Black re-joined the team on Monday after a quick stint in the NBA Development League. Both players were practicing on the court when reporters entered the gym.