Kobe Bryant to Miss Third Straight Game

Kobe Bryant continues to improve as he deals with tenosynovitis of the shin, but since pain remains on his lower left leg, he will not play at San Antonio on Wednesday evening.

The shin has been inflamed, but once the pain goes away, so should the inflammation.

Bryant had started 138 consecutive games before being held out of L.A.’s Saturday evening loss at Phoenix and Monday’s win at New Orleans. Head athletic trainer Gary Vitti said that shutting Bryant down was the only way to ensure he’d heal fully and be healthy heading into the stretch run of the regular season and playoffs, and head coach Mike Brown has repeatedly supported the plan of making sure Kobe’s both healthy and rested.

“It’s OK that it’s taking time for him to get right,” said Brown after Tuesday’s practice in San Antonio.

Prior to the win over New Orleans, Brown said that the general rest can actually be a positive for his shooting guard, since Bryant ranks third in the NBA in minutes (38.5) in his 16th NBA season.

Bryant will be treated and re-evaluated continually; the next game on the schedule coming at STAPLES Center on Friday against Denver.

****UPDATE: Bryant also missed the team’s Friday and Sunday wins over Denver and Dallas, and remains listed as day-to-day in advance of the next contest, coming on Tuesday against San Antonio.