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Laker fans, you can exhale now.

In case you missed it, they’ve collectively held their breath since just a few minutes after 9 last night, when early in the third quarter Kobe Bryant leaped to take a shot and landed on the foot on Indiana center Jeff Foster, rolling his ankle. It hurt to watch, just like it did when teammates had to help Kobe from the court.

But today, after X-rays and a second look, the guys who went to med school are calling it a "moderate sprain." Kobe is listed as s day-to-day — but, then again, aren't we all?

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In the meantime, the remaining Lakers were able to hold off the tired-looking Pacers and improve to 12-5 on the season. As for the future, remember, the Lakers started the season 2-0 without Kobe (or Kwame Brown, for that matter) and looked sharp doing it. And, the next to games are not against powerhouses — New Orleans (8-8) Wednesday then Friday night against Atlanta (7-8, which in the sad Eastern Conference is still good enough for a playoff spot).

The Lakers should be just fine without #24 for a couple games, if need be. But as for the San Antonio Spurs game on Sunday…..

AP photo by Mark Avery