Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is expected to play in the season opener Sunday against the Chicago Bulls, saying his right wrist "should be fine," the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday on its website.

Bryant, who tore a ligament in the wrist in Monday's exhibition game against the Los Angeles Clippers, sat out practice Thursday, saying his wrist was still "swollen and painful."

But, he added, "it's always been in my nature to try to figure out a way to play."

Bryant, 33, sat on the Lakers bench in a suit wearing a plastic brace on the wrist in Wednesday's final preseason game against the Clippers. Earlier, an MRI exam confirmed a tear of the lunotriquetral ligament, which stabilizes two of the smaller bones on the outer part of the wrist.

"It's not really going to heal. The ligament's gone. There's nothing I can do about it," he told the Times. "But I've dealt with so many hand injuries, I should be all right."

Fan's suit against Bryant

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit revived part of a fan's suit against Bryant.

The appellate court ruled that the district court was right to dismiss the fan's claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress, but then ordered the lower court to take another look at the claim of assault and battery.

The fan, Bill Geeslin of Blytheville, Ark., charged that Bryant knocked his seat back as he charged after the ball in a 2005 game against the Memphis Grizzlies, but then forearmed him in the chest. The fan has since died. His estate is continuing the suit.

Nets' Lopez out for months

The New Jersey Nets are going to be without starting center and leading scorer Brook Lopez for a couple of months.

Nets general manager Billy King announced Thursday that Lopez suffered a stress fracture in his right foot in a game against the Knicks on Wednesday and he will have surgery on Friday. The injury is to the fifth metatarsal.

Lopez averaged 20.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists last season as the Nets posted a 24-58 record.

Heat owner said no to CBA

Miami Heat owner Micky Arison disclosed that he cast a ballot against passing the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement as "a protest vote" primarily in response to the way revenue-sharing components of the deal will be structured.

He is the second owner to acknowledge voting against the CBA, joining Dallas' Mark Cuban. In all, five teams voted against the CBA. Arison would not name the other owners who voted no.

Arison declined to say whether he would have cast the "no" vote if the CBA wasn't already assured of passage. Enough votes to pass were already secured by the time Miami cast its ballot.

Pacers' arena renamed

The Indiana Pacers will now be playing in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The team and CNO Financial Group announced the name change from Conseco Fieldhouse. Bankers Life is one of CNO's major product lines. The insurance company began phasing out use of the Conseco name after it went into a $61 billion bankruptcy reorganization in 2002.