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Kobe Bryant could return to action Friday for Lakers

Nov 30, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT

Kobe Lakers black uniform Getty Images

The Lakers have a bit of a layoff after hosting Portland on Sunday, with no games at all on the schedule before next Friday’s contest in Sacramento against the Kings.

Kobe Bryant has been slowly working his way back from the torn Achilles injury that prematurely ended his season back in April, and the extended practice time available in the upcoming week could be a prime opportunity for Bryant to get acclimated enough to return to the floor in a game that counts for the first time in several months.

From Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles:

Kobe Bryant has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, but the Los Angeles Lakers acknowledged he could return Friday in Sacramento if he feels ready after a week of practices. …

“I don’t want to anticipate anything,” D’Antoni said after practice Saturday. “Those are days that he can work and see, re-evaluate how he feels after the three days and then make a decision going forward.

“That doesn’t mean he will play Friday, doesn’t mean he won’t. But that’s the time you just evaluate, and I can’t tell you what type of evaluation that will be.”

L.A. held a practice on Saturday after returning from a road trip late Friday night in a move believed to be geared toward Bryant getting some additional time to practice with teammates.

It’ll be extremely interesting to see what version of Bryant the Lakers get when he does return, whether it is later this week or at some point beyond that in the very near future. L.A. has managed to compile a winning record through 17 games in Bryant’s absence, and Mike D’Antoni has praised the Lakers’ teamwork and chemistry throughout the early part of this season.

Even if Bryant were to immediately return to the player he was last season prior to the injury, there’s the delicate balance of the style his team has been playing this year to consider. Bryant’s traditionally ball-dominant ways won’t fit well with the roster as currently constructed, so a somewhat fascinating adjustment period is likely to take place beginning with the moment he steps onto the floor with his team for the first time in almost eight months.

  1. goraidersgospurs - Nov 30, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Off topic: R.I.P Paul Walker Fast & the furious will never be the same !!!

    • patsfan92 - Dec 1, 2013 at 5:37 AM

      oh now i dont even wanna see it. thanks -__- lol

  2. money2long - Nov 30, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    so i’m guessing that “immortal day” tattoo on kobe’s left arm is fake, and is the photoshop artist’s tag ?
    i don’t believe kobe has worn that jersey yet in-game.

    anyway…this is very exciting news. the anticipation of the basketball world getting one of it’s gods back on the court

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Dec 1, 2013 at 1:25 AM

      It is photoshopped. His teammate at the back (my guess is it is Pau Gasol) is wearing the purple jersey.

      • 00maltliquor - Dec 1, 2013 at 2:38 AM

        Plus in the background on the right it looks like Chauncy Billups in a Nuggets uni. That pic gots to be mad old.

      • money2long - Dec 1, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        so many diff jerseys. it’s like the rookie-sophomore game

  3. con4dentual - Nov 30, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Good luck vino

  4. dirtydrew - Nov 30, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Nobody cares.

    • ematias007 - Dec 1, 2013 at 3:56 AM


    • spthegr8 - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      You cared enough to comment. Just Sayin”!!!!!

  5. losanginsight - Nov 30, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    The Lakers will get the 5x champ back.

  6. misterdreamer119 - Nov 30, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Good bye winning streaks and good team basketball. Hello hero ball.

    • musician0785 - Dec 1, 2013 at 12:22 AM

      winning streaks? the team is 9-8, the Kobe hate is real out here….

  7. asimonetti88 - Dec 1, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Woohoo! Exciting news!

  8. 00maltliquor - Dec 1, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    I’m so excited! But who’s min.’s are going to suffer?

  9. lakerade - Dec 1, 2013 at 5:09 AM

    No rush.

  10. rodge1 - Dec 1, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    His Achilles is photoshopped too.

  11. shanelsweet - Dec 1, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    My crystal ball says he plays pretty much like he was playing before getting injured. I just don’t think that’s going to be enough to keep the Lakers out of the Lottery.

  12. mytthor - Dec 1, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Lakers actually already have Farmar, Henry, and Young who play a pretty ball-dominant style. What’s going to be tough to determine is if Kobe wants to slow down the pace and set up in a methodical half court offense EVERY TIME. Here’s hoping.

  13. jimeejohnson - Dec 1, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Kobe’s an all-time great. Only the hateful loser doesn’t want to see him back on the court.

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