Lakers: Kobe Bryant will return Sunday vs. Raptors

He’s back!

This
week, Kobe Bryant practiced three straight days without any setbacks. He
then calmed any ideas that he would make his return tonight in
Sacramento.

The Lakers announced on a video via their Facebook page that the star guard will make his season debut Sunday vs. the Raptors at Staples Center.

At the team’s shootaround in Sacramento Friday morning, Mike D’Antoni said chances of Bryant returning Sunday were “pretty good” according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register
before the Lakers coach realized the weight of what he said.

“I just opened up a can of worms,”  D’Antoni said.

He was just spoiling the official announcement.

Bryant, the 15-time All-Star, hasn’t played since tearing his left Achilles tendon on April 12. He has been practicing with the Lakers (9-9) for the last several weeks.

Recently, Kobe stopped by FOX Sports Live and talked with Gary Payton about his Lakers career, future and, of course, Michael Jordan.

Bryant recently signed a two-year, $48.5M extension to remain with the team.

Bryant has been somewhat cryptic in his tweets during his recovery period, but this was the first indication he has a date for his comeback. He practiced three days in a row this week and told reporters he hoped to play Sunday.
 
“I’m trying,’ he said Thursday. “I mean, we’ve got to see how it feels tonight. I’m going to try to get another hard session in and then (Friday) morning try to push it again and the same thing (Friday) evening and just continue to keep on measuring it.”


— FOXSportsWest.com writers Mike Martinez and Rahshaun Haylock contributed to this report.