Gareth Bale and Luka Modric
Gareth Bale and Luka Modric

Lakers hopeful over Kobe Bryant after ankle sprain

LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping for the best over the fitness of star guard Kobe Bryant, who is current sidelined with an injury.

Watch Video Highlights of Bryant’s Injury

Bryant suffered a sprained ankle during the Lakers’ 96-92 to the Hawks in Atlanta on Wednesday night and he’s now racing against time to be fit in time for Friday night’s clash against the Indiana Pacer.

The injury came at a bad time for the Lakers, who were beginning to play well in the push for a playoffs slot in the difficult Western Conference.

Bryant sustained the ankle sprain after he landed on the foot of defender Dahntay Jones, who apparently stepped underneath him – causing the shooter to fall to the court in discomfort.

There are several debate surrounding the foul it self, and the 34-year-old reveals that “it was the worst ankle injury he’d had since the 2000 National Basketball Association Finals.”

The Los Angeles star has also called for better protection for shooters.

“First and foremost, officials really need to protect shooters,” he said.

“As defensive players you can contest shots but you can’t walk underneath players. That’s dangerous for the shooter.”

Jones, though, defended himself.

“Tape doesn’t lie,” Jones via his Twitter account. “Ankle was turned on the floor after the leg kick out that knocked him off balance. I would never try to hurt the man.”

Derrick Rose works with team on Wednesday in Orlando

ORLANDO (Sporting Alert) – Derrick Rose took a step closer to return from injury after he took part in the Chicago Bulls team work on Wednesday.

Rose, who has been doing several non-contact drills in sessions in the past few weeks, has participated with his teammates in road session for first since tearing his ACL in late April.

“It’s good,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said, ahead of his team’s game at the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

“He’s been around the whole time. You guys don’t see him as much as everyone else does, the team does, I should say.

“So I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. It’s the next step in the progression for him. He’s getting up to speed with everything offensively, defensively, his teammates.

“It’s just the next step, and he’s got to continue the things that he’s been doing and the team has to continue to focus on our improvement and our opponent and then at some point he’ll be ready to go.

“But he still has some time to go, everyone has to be patient, but it’s good to have him around.”

Rose is still involved in some rehab sessions and expected to be out for about six weeks, so Thibodeau will not commit to a return date for his All-Star guard.

“It’s when he’s ready,” Thibodeau said of rose injury return date. “So that’s not anything that has changed from the start of the season, it’s when he’s ready.

“It’s not going to be sooner, later, ‘this is the target date,’ it’s just when he’s ready. So he’s doing practice, the predictable contact in practice, the next step will be regular practice, then he has to be able to go through regular practice for a while. And then, if everything goes well, then he plays.

“But there’s no time schedule so it’s everything according to plan. It’s just the next step. There’s several steps he has to go through.

“There’s several more that he has to go through — so everything’s going well, nothing has changed.”

Follow more Derick Rose injury report.

Stoudemire returns for Knicks; Lawson misses Clippers clash – NBA News

(Sporting Alert) – Amar’e Stoudemire has made his New York Knicks return from an injury in the NBA game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.

Stoudemire, who has been out with a knee injury returned off the bench with 3:31 left the first quarter.

The Knicks says his playing time will be limited as they try to work him back into playing fitness.

Star forward Carmelo Anthony, who started the day as questionable, also returned to the starting team after missing the last two games with a knee injury.

Experienced guard Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler, who was doubtful because of an ankle problem, were in the team for New York Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, speed Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson will not play against the Los Angeles Clippers tonight because of an Achilles tendon strain.

This means Andre Miller will start in his place, at least that is what Clippers.com are reporting.

The Los Angeles Lakers are also in action on New Year’s night, but head coach Mike D’Antoni is not reporting any fresh injuries.

WATCH: Lakers take on the@Sixers tonight at 7:30pm PT @LakersTV. Here’s your Shootaround Preview – on.nba.com/WYFT2u

Nash feeling better, hopes to return to regular Lakers practice

LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — The Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash hopes to return to regular practice next week, following a foot injury that has sidelined him since October.

Nash, who went through a shooting session in New York last night before the Lakers took on the Knicks, has also started running and he admits that his foot is feeling much better.

“I’m definitely getting better,” he was quoted as telling the Los Angeles Times.

He added “If I continue to improve and there’s no setbacks, then I should be able to practice next week.”

The former Phoenix star is one of the main pieces in the Lakers drive for success this season, as without him the likes of Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard have found themselves scraping to find good looks at the baskets.

Steve Blake (abdomen) injury was also a massive blew for the Lakers, who are struggling with turnovers this season.

The Lakers are also without star forward Pau Gasol, who missed the past five games with tendinitis in his knees.

The team has dropped f six of its last seven, and could welcome Nash and company back anytime soon.

Lopez out for Nets against Knicks, New York out to make a statement

Brooklyn, N.Y. (Sporting Alert) — Brook Lopez will miss the Brooklyn Nets’ clash against the New York Knicks on Tuesday night because of an injury.

New York at Brooklyn
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Live TV: Live on ESPN and WatchESPN.com

Lopez was listed as a game time decision on Tuesday and the club was hoping to have their leading scorer back as they look to end a four game skid.

However, despite returning to training this week Lopez, who has had a good start to the season where he’s currently leading the team in scoring with an average of 18.5 points per game, has been ruled out because of a sprained right foot.

He missed the past five games with the injury as well.

On Tuesday the Nets GM Billy King announced on the club’s official website that the center would not feature against the Knicks.

He’s also doubtful for the next game against the Toronto Raptors as well.

So with Lopez out once again, this is how the Nets will line-up from the opening tip off:

G · Deron Williams; G · Joe Johnson; F · Gerald Wallace; F · Reggie Evans; C · Andray Blatche.

Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony returned from a two game absence with 34 points against his former club Denver Nuggets as the New York Knicks picked up a 112-106 victory on the road Sunday night.

Anthony is currently in shootaround warm-ups and looks to be in the zone. He says all systems are ready to go, despite his cut finger still taped up.

New York, who continues to be without star forward Amar’e Stoudemire will start like this:

G · Raymond Felton; G · Ronnie Brewer; F · Carmelo Anthony; F · Kurt Thomas; C · Tyson Chandler.