According to Coach Mike D’Antoni, Kobe will play about 20-something minutes against Toronto tonight at Staples Center in downtown LA.
The news came Saturday after Bryant completed a brief but symbolic practice Saturday, his final one after almost eight months of recovery and rehabilitation from a torn Achilles’ tendon, reports the LA Times.
“He’s not going to be above the rim for a while, which is fine,” D’Antoni said. “There’s been great players that have played below the rim. He’ll have to do that for a little bit.”
As the LA Times pointed out, Bryant did not talk to reporters Saturday. Until Sunday’s game is over, his work will have to take the place of his words.
His eyes were reddened when he met with reporters in front of his locker April 12, propped up on crutches after falling to the court with 3:08 to play against Golden State. His left foot appeared to buckle while he drove to the basket, and he called timeout after being fouled by Harrison Barnes.
Bryant was visited by trainer Gary Vitti on the court and stayed in the game only to make two free throws before walking slowly off with Robert Sacre.
“I made a move that I make a million times and it just popped,” Bryant said at the time.
Now he’s a 35-year-old coming off a traumatic sports injury, D’Antoni saying “I think so” when asked Saturday if Bryant could come close to the 27.3 points and six assists he averaged last season.
“I don’t think right at the start, but I’d give him a month and he should be back to those numbers,” D’Antoni said.
You can read the rest of this report at LA Times.