It sounds all but official now. As if you were surprised by that.
How he'll feel, of course, is another story.
As reported by Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times:
Bryant, listed as day-to-day because of lower back spasms, says he'll be ready Wednesday for Game 5, though it's unclear if he'll be fully healthy, partially healthy, somewhere in between or somewhere the Lakers don't even want to think about.
"I'll play. I can't imagine it being worse than it was [Sunday] night," Bryant said.
If it isn't better, it won't be from a lack of trying.
Bryant will be going through an active treatment cycle from now until game time -- electro-stimulation, ice, heat, massage therapy, stretching, everything but an actual back transplant.
Call me paranoid, but here's wondering if the table is being set for an epic performance in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
Guys like Kobe simply seem to have a higher threshold of adversity than most others do. This is the sort of guy who will be affected day and night by his ailing back until Wednesday bu will somehow summon the ability to ignore that pain for two and a half hours that night.
He knows what this season has meant in Los Angeles, and he knows that he can't afford to let the Lakers head into Game 6 in Utah with that on the line.
He can't be too happy with a few of his late-game misses (presumed to be due to the back injury) from Game 4 either.
This is a man who thrives on competition and adversity. Something tells me he'll be ready to bring it on Wednesday no matter how poor the shape of his back is.