Improved Bryant expects to play today for Lakers

Friday, May 24, 2002

LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant was on the mend Thursday, back to practice with the Los Angeles Lakers. He said he was feeling better, although he hadn't eaten for more than 24 hours.

Apparently stricken with food poisoning before Game 2 of the Western Conference finals in Sacramento, Bryant left practice several times Wednesday to vomit before being taken to see the team doctor.

"I was able to come in and run," Bryant said following practice at Staples Center, where the Kings and Lakers meet tonight in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series. "It feels pretty good outside of the fatigue factor.

"Yesterday I wasn't able to go. Today I feel fine. I feel like I can do everything I could do before I got sick."

Regarding tonight's game, Bryant said he wouldn't know exactly how he'll react until he's on the court.

"Hopefully I'll be ready, it's a matter of getting my wind back," he said."If we were playing tonight or yesterday, I obviously would have had to play through a lot of pain. Injuries you can always play around, being sick zaps your energy."

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