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Bryant eyes return Friday vs. Spurs

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Kobe Bryant, who missed his seventh straight game Wednesday with a shin injury, is eyeing a Friday return for the Los Angeles Lakers after completing running and jumping exercises without pain.

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"I'll probably be on the floor next game," Bryant told ESPN during the broadcast of the Lakers' 99-87 win against the Golden State Warriors.

If he again feels no discomfort Thursday, he could return Friday against the San Antonio Spurs, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Coach Mike Brown added, "There's a chance. He's made progress and we like where he is right now."

The 33-year-old is dealing with a case of tenosynovitis, or inflamed tendons, in his left shin, suffering the injury March 31 in a win over New Orleans.

With the Lakers' playoff position secure, Brown has been content to let Bryant rest until his shin is pain-free.

In his 16th year, Bryant is averaging an NBA-best 28.1 points, his highest total since 2007-08, on 43 percent shooting.

Tagged: Lakers, Kobe Bryant

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