kobe bryant

Kobe Bryant has been playing some of his best basketball since the All-Star break, almost single-handedly pushing the Los Angeles Lakers into the playoff race.

Now he’s facing what may be his toughest opponent of the season.

Bryant is out indefinitely with what he calls the worst sprained ankle of his 16-year career, crumpling to the court with 3 seconds remaining after missing a game-tying shot in a 96-92 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

While X-rays were negative, the Lakers sounded pessimistic about Bryant’s chances of playing anytime soon, an especially tough blow with just 16 games left in the regular season and Los Angeles clinging to a half-game lead over Utah for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Bryant tweeted Thursday morning that he was undergoing treatment on his ailing left ankle while watching movie after movie.

”Compression. Ice. Django. Zero Dark Thirty. This is Forty and 1 hour of sleep,” he wrote. ”On to the next.”

– Reported by Paul Newberry of the Associated Press