Kobe Bryant ‘Trying’ to Play on Sunday vs Toronto Raptors

by December 06, 2013

Having ruled himself out for tonight‘s game against the Sacramento Kings, Kobe Bryant is now targeting Sunday as a potential date for his return. Nothing’s guaranteed, though. Per the LA Daily News: “I’m staying here,’ Bryant said. ‘I’m not going up to lovely Sacramento.’ With Bryant describing his left Achilles tendon both as ‘pretty good’ and ‘a little stiff,’ can he return when the Lakers play Sunday against the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center? ‘I’m trying,’ Bryant said. ‘We have to see how it feels tonight. I’m going to try to get another hard session again and tomorrow get in another hard session again. Same thing tomorrow evening.’ Bryant participated in all of Thursday’s practice without any limitations, though Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni jokingly described him as ‘fodder’ on the team’s second unit. D’Antoni did that to accommodate the Lakers’ preparation against Sacramento without Bryant, Steve Nash (nerve issues in back) and Jordan Farmar (strained left hamstring). ‘He looks good, but a little rusty,’ D’Antoni said. ‘But he still looks like a dominant figure on the court. It’s what you’d expect him to be. He plays well. I don’t think it’s at All-Star level today, but he’ll make a big difference.’ […] In Tuesday’s practice open to reporters, Bryant took so much of a facilitating role that his lone field goal came on a fast-break dunk. Bryant will mostly play at shooting guard and small forward, but it’s likely he’ll have point guard responsibilities to accommodate the absences to (Steve) Nash and (Jordan) Farmar. ‘I’ll be the push man obviously and will get up and down,’ said the 6-foot-6 Bryant. ‘Honestly it’s no more different than the way I played my entire career when I’m handling the ball and getting us into stuff and pushing it.'”