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Kobe likely to play in exhibition games

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NBA superstar Kobe Bryant said Thursday he was a good chance of playing in the Lakers' exhibition games in Europe next week, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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Bryant is recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee and has only practiced with the NBA champions once this week, but he was confident of making the court in both the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in London on Monday and against FC Barcelona on Thursday in Barcelona.

"It's about whether I can perform or not," Bryant said before the Lakers boarded their flight to London on Thursday afternoon. "That's with any game. That's why I've always been real adamant about me not missing games because people come to watch me play. You want to make sure you get out there and play."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson said the plan was to give Bryant at least eight minutes in each game.

"The reality is we want him to be out there on the court to play," Jackson said. "Whether it's a six-to-eight-minute run or whether it's two of them, like 16 minutes in a 48-minute game."

The Lakers have scheduled a practice to be held directly after landing in London on Friday.

Tagged: Lakers, Kobe Bryant

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