NBA

Kobe Bryant faces race to be fit for Wizards game

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Kobe Bryant missed his second consecutive game with an ankle injury as the LA Lakers lost 99-76 to the Phoenix Suns on Monday night.

The Lakers confirmed Bryant's status is listed as day-to-day, but he faces a race against time to be fit for their next fixture against the Washington Wizards at home on Friday.

The short break could give the LA superstar time to recover, and the Lakers badly missed his scoring in the defeat to the Suns.

Bryant injured his ankle on the last play of a loss to the Atlanta Hawks last week, coming down hard onto the foot of Hawks' player Dahntay Jones after a jump shot.

The five-time NBA champion is thought to have a severely sprained left ankle as a result of the play, and he's also recovering from the flu.

Before the Suns match, Bryant tweeted: "#countonthew #nomamba #noswan #no problem. Great opportunity tonight."

The fifth-leading scorer in NBA history spent a couple of days trying to return to fitness after the Hawks game, and even briefly took to the court in the first quarter of LA's victory over Indiana last Friday night.

But the pain refused to subside, and Bryant sat out the rest of the match.

When asked when Bryant could return, LA Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said: "Knowing Kobe, probably Friday, but that's day-to-day and we don't know that yet."

The Lakers are currently in eighth spot in the Western Conference, one game ahead of the Utah Jazz. Eighth place is the final qualifying spot for the NBA playoffs.

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