Kobe Bryant out for Friday vs. Sacramento, possible for Sunday vs. Toronto

USA TODAY Sports

The Black Mamba has been ruled out for Friday's game against the Kings, but a return versus the Raptors at home Sunday is still possible

Anyone expecting Kobe Bryant to return Friday against Sacramento--which includes NBATV, apparently--will have to wait a little bit longer.

The Mamba will not make his season debut tomorrow in the state capitol, according to team spokesperson John Black:

"He absolutely won't play Friday," team spokesman John Black said Wednesday. "He won't be going with the team and will instead stay in L.A. for an individual workout."

Instead, he'll focus on coming back Sunday against the Toronto Raptors, barring any unforeseen setbacks.

We're well within the six to nine month timetable the Lakers set when Kobe originally ruptured his Achilles tendon and there's been weekly speculation as to when Bryant would make his return. This, coupled with injuries to Jordan Farmar, Steve Nash and Steve Blake has made the Mamba's debut not only highly anticipated, but actually quite necessary. In the interim, coach Mike D'Antoni has had to use players like Xavier Henry and Jodie Meeks at the point guard position with the team's depth decimated because of injury. Bryant showed for long stretches last season that he could begrudgingly run the team's offense as a facilitator rather than a primary scorer, a role which he'll undoubtedly have to fill as he--and his teammates--come back from injury.

Stay tuned for more updates as they happen.

--MAMBINO

--Follow this author @TheGreatMambino

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