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Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) could return Friday

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Kobe Bryant could return Friday.  (USATSI)

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.

Los Angeles has no games between Sunday and Friday. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said Bryant will use the three practice days to evaluate how he feels before determining whether he’s ready to return from a ruptured Achilles tendon that’s kept him out since April 12.

“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.”

via Kobe Bryant of Los Angeles Lakers could return to play Friday against Sacramento Kings, coach Mike D’Antoni says – ESPN Los Angeles.

Bryant has been slowly recovering from Achilles tendon surgery last April. He was cleared for practice earlier this month, but had said it might be weeks not days before he returns. He signed a two-year extension worth $48.5 million last week and took to Twitter and the media to defend it.

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