Report: Kobe Coming Back Friday

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Kobe Bryant‘s seven-game injury hiatus is scheduled to come to an end Friday, when the Los Angeles Lakers head to San Antonio for another showdown with the Spurs.

With the playoffs just a days away, Bryant told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that he will get back on the floor against the Spurs to test his sore shin and to try to find his rhythm before the regular season ends:

Bryant has missed the past seven games with a shin injury, but said he expects to return Friday when the Lakers visit the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers also play the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday at home before ending the regular season by visiting the Sacramento Kings on April 26. The Lakers could decide to sit Bryant against the Kings because the playoffs begin two days later.

“It will kind of establish my rhythm more,” Bryant said after the Lakers’ victory over the Golden State Warriors. “It finishes the season up the right way and generates the momentum we need toward the postseason.”

Bryant went through a tough on-court workout with Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy about three hours before the Warriors game. Bryant was healthy enough to play against Golden State, but the Lakers opted to give him another couple days of rest.

Bryant last played April 6. He said he’s never worried the injury was serious, and he began targeting his return a few days ago.

“It just takes time for it to heal,” Bryant said. “There is nothing you can do to expedite it. You just have to sit and wait.”

The Lakers’ 5-2 record without Bryant showed that they could survive without the face of the franchise in the short-term. But the time off provided Bryant with some clarity about this team.

Any doubts he might have had about what his team could accomplish disappeared as he watched both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol dominate teams, at times, in his absence.

“I feel very good about it,” Bryant told Spears. “I believe it’s a championship team. I know it when I see it.”


83 Comments

  1. Francisco says:

    @nbafan, I got to agree kobe took only 12 shots and made 7 waoooo, kobe shootings over 50% what a miracle, I do not hate him, I simply believe the lakers had done better since 1995 or 1996 whenever he started with a player like paul pierce or an unselfish point guard similar to nash or chris paul.

  2. NBAfan says:

    I read the nba recap….the Lakers are 5 and 2 without Kobe…blah blah blah…they got trashed by the spurs…blah blah blah….

    First off…their record is really 4 and 3 since the OT win in Dallas was lucky (pau threes, barnes stepping out), so it’s just one game over .500 in reality…second of all, they lost to the spurs before this game…so it’s not like his return ruined thier rhythm…third, Kobe shot 7 for 12 and only committed one turnover…..fourth, World Peace and Sesssions combine for 5 out of 18.

    BUT YOU KNOW ALL THE KOBE HATERS WILL USE THIS TO “PROVE” KOBE IS NOT THAT GREAT, etc etc

    NBA.com…don’t frame facts, report it. Yes, 5-2 is their official record, yes the spurs trashed the lakers….but the juxtaposition of the two in your opening RECAP is pure PROPAGANDA. What exactly are you hinting at?

  3. ljo; says:

    thank you daine you the only person that ive herd or seen say bynum is the best center in the league and has the best post moves for a center. If he played for the magic or any team that dosnt have a player that averages 25 shots a game and one of the most elite power forwards in the league. If he played for a team like the magic his numbers would skyrocket

  4. Chris says:

    Damn! A lot of heated opinions on here!
    Nothing that happend during this season
    means anything, if teams cannot execute
    their offenses correctly and play 48 +minutes
    of Defense in the PLAYOFFS.

    History shows us that it is futile to make Playoff
    Predictions, because Championship Teams
    are Hungry, not just Talented……..

    • NBAfan says:

      Then watch out for the Magics…Glen “Big Baby” Davis is probably the hungriest player going into the playoffs.

  5. @ says:

    doesnt matter!!!!!!……lakers are winning the title , but if for some reason by a strange twist of fate they get eliminated then its going to be the heat (who i hate) and the thunder in the finals and the thunder will take it in 6 games nuf said.

    • NBAfan says:

      I’m doubting OKC a bit…they are going on a slump at the worst possible moment. The celtics are peaking and so are the Pacers. The Heat and Spurs are stable. The Lakers and Bulls will depend on Kobe and Rose respectively. Carmelo is peaking indiividually just in time for the play offs.

      If it’s all about stability…it’s gonna be HEAT vs SPURS…but if something happens….I think the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls and OKC have real shots at the finals.

      • @ says:

        i agree but when you look at the 4 best teams in the nba this year, in terms of stability its HEAT, BULLS, SPURS and THUNDER. and as much as i hate LeBrick the bulls dont have the man power to stop him wade and bosh in a 7 game searies so heat will win the east…..as for the west spurs wont be able to keep up with the youth, speed, size and aathleticism of the thunder so thunder will win the west if the the lakers get eliminated for some reason

  6. JWJ3 says:

    Finally settling into the new offense, aquiring Sessions, having Kobe sit while his teammates gained confidence and a healthy and rested Kobe equals Laker Championship #16 Baby! All coming together very nicely for the Lakers to make a great run for the title. Bring it!!

  7. wayne says:

    anyone besides me notice that Spurs are tied in the loss column with the Bulls. Won 5 in a row with 14+ points

  8. ANTdaMAN210 says:

    spurs will hit the finals this year vs the heat,,,,,,,nuf said ..hell with the fakers….spurs are a deep elite team with every player that can score points to much parker….blake cant stop nor keep up with parker.. to many great players to name…and btw spurs will be the lakers tonight at the att center……..

  9. Anthony says:

    L A K E R S ! 2012 CHAMPS !. .. Watch out!.

  10. DAVID says:

    Bynum is a good center but not a proven center in the PLAYOFFS! Remember last year against Dallas he couldn’t handle the
    pressure and took the mav’s backup guard out while airborne. He has some growing to do and he can watch some proven winners tonight at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

  11. Duane says:

    I don’t think it is going to matter much, the Power Rankings will change this week and we all know who the #1 team is, they proved that decisively on Tuesday. Without injuries, Champinship #5 is the Spurs to take this season.

  12. BobbyC07 says:

    LA will not win anything. They have the ball hog back. Plus they will have to face either SA or Oklahoma.

    GO SPURS GO!!!

  13. Jack says:

    go kobe,..u are made for that,..shoot more,..say 30FG/game, u were born to do it…burn the LAKERS again okei??LOL i hope u will shoot it more like u terribly missed that ball,..( lol.. )go kobe every time you touch that ball u shoot try to shoot it,..don look at bynum,..he might overshoot you,..u are the leader of this FAKERS,..sorry LAKERS,..be the man!! lol

  14. JacquesDmoney says:

    The stars are aligned and the moon and sun are in harmony with each other which mean this is the year the Gold/Purple reestablish its dominance in the NBA. This is the best Laker team since the Kobe/Shaq era and Bynum is just learning his true potential. This team has the right chemistry if it stays healthy and together to win multible rings. Be afraid be very afraid

    • JacquesDmoney says:

      The Black Mambe is on the verge of his 6th ring and there is nothing in the NBA that can stop him

  15. Suriken says:

    LA has a championship caliber starting five, not bench. They r able to win it all if the starters could handle playing at least 40 minutes per game. Either Dalls or Memphis would be a heck of a challenge in the first round, to say nothing about SA or OKC in the second one. I suppose LA could get through the first round only in 7 games and only if they r lucky. But let the strongest survive and say no to injuries!

  16. Daine says:

    Kb Shooting 30-25 Shot makes No difference as Long as they out play everybody for the first few quarters then Let Kobe the greatest basketball playes besides Michael Jordan They Will Wen The Champioship Easily Because they have some OKC and SA dont have A Inside Post Game With The Best Center In The League With Byum Soo Let’s Go Lakers

    • Danny says:

      actually kobes 25-30 shots do matter cuz he could be missin alot and andrew wouldnt even get a chance to score……they have to use everybody……

    • DAVID says:

      Mrs.Neverson,

      Have you ever gone to a game before? Maybe just a bandwagon Laker fan I guess everyone one has opinions. Lakers are a great team but not the best this yr. So maybe PJ will come out of retirement to get them back on track. Oh by the way you told me to shut up! We are going to dismantle the Lakers tonight! I will be at center court tonight while your stuffing you face watching on TV, I will have a beer for you.

  17. LAL says:

    GOOD POINT WTFM! BASKETBALL IS THE ONLY SPORT I LOVE. AND I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN AFTER NOT PLAYING FOR A FEW GAMES!!! OORAH!

  18. wtfm says:

    wwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssstttttttttttttt side!!! Bryant is sitting for 2 reasons… His shin… And resting for the playoffs. You are more determined to play basketball after not playing for a few games. What a smart feller he is.

  19. Choker says:

    Kobe’s injury made the Lakers team better. It gave the teams a challenge to win without Bryant. Roles were distrributed. If they play great along with Bryant they can be unstoppable

  20. lakers 12 says:

    Kobe shooting 25-30 shots each game is irrelevant. If he has done it his whole career and is supposedly going to ‘ go down in flames’ why does he have 5 rings. kobe is still the best and has more determination than any other player. LBJ is the man but what he lacks kobe has and thats the ability to win.

  21. OLD MAMBA says:

    GO LAKERS! this is the time!!

  22. RONNY says:

    WORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRLD PEACE FOR THE WIN!

  23. CMON, I take off my hat for you, you just said it my friend, nothing to agree…..

    LAKERS CHAMPS………….

  24. Coach Dee says:

    Welcome back to the real MVP!

  25. cmon says:

    OK listen up everyone who is saying kobe jacks up 25-30 shots a game.
    I bet 90% of you dont even watch the lakers play. The team feels belittled by him, they DON’T shoot or play aggressive at all, with the exception of Bynum. I think now KOBE has been out they have had to feed the ball inside, they see watch Drew can do on a nightly basis, they will continue to feed the ball inside. Kobe is by far one of the smartest players I have ever watched, he wants RINGS not SCORING LEADER trophies. The man has nothing to prove, he just wants to beat Jordan lol…
    Bottom line, hopefully the squad keeps the level of aggressiveness up when Kobe returns

  26. jonski22 says:

    the only problem is when KObe is back, and when he got that ball….the Lakers freezes…standing…waiting for Kobe’s move..hopefully this will not happen when he got back….and we can see ball movement….getting the ball inside to Bynum..letting Pau post and make a play…

  27. ldhl89 says:

    The Lakers’ 5-2 record without Bryant showed that they could survive without the face of the franchise.
    They are moving the ball better
    Rebouns = Better
    Scoring = Better
    Shooting = Better

  28. Robert 3 says:

    LAKERS ARE THE BEST BASKETBALL TEAM IN NBA HISTORY… – FACTTTTTTT.. :D

  29. charles says:

    Lakers made a great move in acquiring sessions and now that the lakers played without Kobe, they confidence of Bynum, Gasol, Metta and sessions has gone up. Kobe is always confident and the trick is to get him back in rhythm. If he’s in rhythm and the other players are not injured, i don’t think many teams want to face them.

    • Pau Ahn says:

      The bigger trade talk is not sessions but its more like how the hell they trade walton no one in the league wanted him and his price that is what lakers is all about OMG i cant believe anyone could of traded walton

      • Rich says:

        Looks to me more like a gratitude they held on to Walton and Fisher that long. Theyy’re more dangerous now with Session and the outbreaking Bynum.

  30. PANDA10 says:

    YES DATS WA WE TALKIN BOUT LAL ALL THE WAY 2 DOES TRUE FAN WE WILL WIN IT ALL GO LAKERS.

  31. LakerFan1 says:

    Lakers have the ability to win this year title in last year they locked of 3point shooter..i hope mat barnes and steve blake can give it to them this year and also MWP is playing good this days..

    • DAVID says:

      Kobe will shoot 25-30 times they go down in flames. Not deep at all..

      • 16going417 says:

        I agree, if he learned nothing while sitting on the bench these past 7 games. I hope he is smarter than that and relies on Bynum and Gasol more. If he does LAL has a SERIOUS shot at the title this year. However, if he insists on jacking up 25-30 shots a game they do go down in flames. Sad, but true.

      • Shut up David because you don’t knowwhat you are talking about.

      • 16going on417 you need to shut up too.

    • JayBee says:

      I second that comments LakerFan1. I’ve been impressed with Sessions and Barnes driving the lane, penetrating the defense and attacking the basket and they need to keep doing it at will so the other teams will have to adjust for at least 5 total scorers when court is in Session for the LAKESHOW. These boys are coming along just at the right time. Past playoff series and Championship teams (of course the LAKERS) have shown us how they can win it all by penetration, attacking basket and kicking out to perimeter shooters and feeding the BIG MEN in the paint. PLAYOFFS! MAN PLAYOFFS…..YEAH!!! I still have the Laker’s 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010 Playoff Series on recorded VHS Tapes. Lakers all the way!

      • DAVID says:

        Mrs Neverson the Lakers are in town tonight and will get exercised by 10-11 Spurs up and down the court all night. When the Spurs shoot 46% or better they will not be beat. Enjoy the game you can see it on ESPN if you have cable or not you can see it on KCAL. Get ready for a shootout in Texas.

      • VHS? i hope you meant DVR bro were did you get a vcr and vhs tapes i would of kept that to myself lol

  32. SDF05 says:

    Man, so great to see how kobe is coaching the team when he was out with a shin injury. we’ll see if he’s feeling well when he comes.

  33. Braden says:

    Kobe knows best, but they gotta push through OKC and San Antonio. Andrew and Gasol are being solid, would LOVE to see my Lakers back in the Finals !!

    • Danny says:

      Im a great kobe fan but if he is shooting to much……its a smart thing that he stayed on the bench all though he probably could of played if u look at his injuries he played with throughout his career. anyway now we know world peace can play offense and defense just like the old days and that the bigs can be relied on… Kobe is gonna be making it better for the lakers in the playoffs but kobe better not push the selfish side of him or else he will be watchin the nba finals from his bedroom…..GO LAL!!!!

    • Rich says:

      Love it when everyone looks past Dallas… then BOOM, oops swept again !

      • JayBee says:

        Naw man…that’s not going to happen again with the Lakers. I know you remember how Dirck was getting in the lane making almost everyshot falling back on one leg, but not this time. Dallas is good, especially in outside the 3-point line. but not this time.

  34. Oula says:

    Good luck to L.A. Lakers. Wishing KB24 well as he comes back. I am still pleading with coach Brown to play Andrew Goudelock with Bynum since he can stretch the loor for Bynum by hitting 3 pointers. He is not afraid of taking shots and making them.

  35. jovdelmar says:

    championship teams play all 4 quarters in every game.. that is something that the Lakers dont do (hence, their inconsistency and losing huge lead at times, their def vs off too inconsistent like when they get hot offensively they stop playing defense etc) i dont think they will be champs this season

  36. when kobe had know allstars on his team the lakers were 8th or 7th seed and he was scoring like 30 a game at best when lebron had know allstars they were the 1 seed and back to back mvps and lebron took a team to the nba finals with no other star players, and kobe is my favorite player but lebron is the best all around player in the league and if all lebron haters can do is compare kobe to him then he must be just as good as kobe, i like lebron and hope he gets a ring this year

    • Clone says:

      When Kobe had no AS and the lakers were 7th/8th, most of the power was in the western conference.. San Antonio, Dallas, Phoenix,etc.. had huuuuge rosters, KG was still a Twolves.. it was far to be easy. Teams getting the 8th spot in the West (even the one finishing 9th) has more then 0.500 W/L. In the East till this season, most teams grabbing the 8th spot (and even the 7th) were under 0.500 W/L.
      When Lebron went to the finals and has no AS.. THAT happened only ONCE and only 1 team was a “contender” for the East and was good enough to fight the West’s bigs: the Detroit Pistons. And that team had NO supertars..

      And if we go your way, Allen Iverson is even better then LeBron in your “best all around player” ranking.
      Look, he made some better run to the finals with lolplayers around him and was mvp. And LeBron finals trip happened just when AI left to the West.

      I’m not ou cant compare a guy who spent a carriere in the West and one who did it in the East, more

      • allen iverson great scorer like kobe, but the only other player with lebron stats in history is oscar and jordan in 88 lebron does it every year his numbers in cleveland and miami are just the same it doesn’t matter who he plays with, kobe best scorer in the league but lebron does it all you will never see lebron on a 8th or 7th seed team east or west

      • and iverson went and teamed up with carmelo and didn’t make it to the finals

      • HAHA says:

        And lebron went and teamed up with bosh and wade and still didnt win a championship! HAHA!!!

      • mike says:

        and Kobe bryant teamed up with Gasol, went to the finals, then won back to backs, then lost and then (this year) will win again ^

      • Rich says:

        And the Suns will win it all this year !

      • JayBee says:

        I think LeBron is going to step his playoff game up way high this time reflecting back on last playoff series. Have yall been watching him lately? Now it’s game time in a few more days. I hope it comes down to Lakers and Heat in the Championship.

  37. Ronald says:

    L.A. LAKERS –> 2012 WORLD CHAMPION.

  38. Dirty D says:

    Then it sounds like the injury was healthy for the Lakers. The greatest players know how to get the best out of their teammates, and they utilize all of their options. I hope Kobe really learns to use this team. Because there really is a big three in Purple and Gold.

    • LAL says:

      First three quarters use the Bigs to dominant the opponents or at least keep it close. Kobe takes over in the fourth. The key is really the bench and Mike Brown, who will get out coached by Pop.

      • Tom says:

        i agree, kobe shooting 25-30 shots a game on 45% shooting is not good. I think kobe is the best player in the league still, i just think he’s too stubborn for his own good sometimes. in my opinion and i know it wouldn’t work out like this every game but i would think mike brown would try to have it so that at the end of the 3rd quarter, bynum has a little less or equal to the amount of FG attempts kobe has, maybe bynum has 10-12 and kobe has 12-14. which would make it so kobe is a little less fatigued in the 4th and is still the closer and bynum is more involved throughout the game which would put him in a better grove in the fourth quarter. Because other than dwight howard and maybe tyson chandler there aren’t very many big men in the league that can match up with bynum. so why wouldn’t you use your mismatch? i think the lakers have proven they can play without kobe (not win a championship though) so i think kobe should sit a little more throughout the first 3 quarters and come into the 4th quarter with fresh legs, and as the closer.

      • Francisco says:

        @tom, you say that shooting 25 or 30 shots at 45% is not good, well that is his career history,by the way he is shooting 43%

      • Jay says:

        Actually, sometimes it’s because Kobe shoots that much that is they win. Think about it. Kobe gets most of the defense because of his scoring, less double teams on the twin towers they get easier rebounds off misses and get easy shots. Remember Bynum shot 41% for like 5-6 games without Kobe, that’s what happens when Kobe is not around. Double goes right to them which they aren’t handling very well.