Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Have swollen ankle, will play: Kobe and Lakers vs. Wolves tonight in L.A.

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves injury report, Wolves players, Wolves pre-game, Wolves news Updated: March 18, 2011 - 9:47 PM

The Wolves and Lakers have just tipped off here at Staples Center.

Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has been playing recently with a swollen, sprained ankle but he's playing tonight, although coach Phil Jackson said he will carefully measure Bryant's minutes.

When asked before the game about his star's status for tonight, Jackson said, "Ready, willing and able."

I asked Wolves coach Kurt Rambis whether it really matters if Bryant is injured or not, since Rambis in his time with the Lakers has seen Bryant play through just about everything.

"No, he's a classic example of a true competitor," Rambis said. "He loves to play. He loves to battle. He loves to compete. He loves to win. I've seen him coming off of a flight and going straight to an arena and play well. I've seen him tremendous injuries and illnesses and play well.

"When you really love to play and you really love to compete, there has to be an incredible obstacle in front of you that will stop you from being out there on the floor. He's just one of those rare individuals who almost enjoys having obstacles in front of him just to see how far he can push himself to rise above them."


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