X-Rays Negative on Bryant’s Finger

Just over a minute into Monday’s 105-88 victory over Cleveland, Kobe Bryant tried to swipe the ball away from LeBron James, and ended up with a dislocated ring finger on his (right) shooting hand.

“It was really, really painful,” said Bryant after playing 41 minutes and amassing 20 points, 12 assists and five rebounds. But when asked if he’d miss any time due to the injury, Bryant was quite clear:

“No.”

Indeed, postgame X-rays of the finger were negative, which was both good and perhaps not surprising news since Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti had allowed Bryant to stay in the game.

“If Gary told me to get off the court, I would have,” Bryant explained. “Gary just popped it back into place, and then I was OK. It was just a normal finger.”

Normal looking perhaps, but certainly not feeling.

“I couldn’t get a good feel for my stroke, so I’m going to have to get in the gym a little bit, shoot and adjust my stroke a little bit,” Bryant added.

Kobe will have a full day to do as much prior to Wednesday’s contest against the Clippers, but for tonight, Lakers fans can exhale a sigh of relief.