The Los Angeles Lakers will have Kobe Bryant back in the starting lineup after he missed both games in their back-to-back in Florida, Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell reports. Bryant felt soreness during training camp, reported in to the training staff his back was bothering him, and has taken time away since to rest and recover.
Letting, or perhaps even forcing, Kobe to pace out his season is a good move from the Lakers, who should be more concerned about keeping the 20-year veteran healthy through what could be his final ride through the league. The training staff hopes his back pain doesn't return once he plays again, so expect to hear how he's feeling physically following his first game since Nov. 8 against the New York Knicks.
More power to the Lakers for protecting him from making things worse in the meantime. We'll see if that time away will help him come back strong after an inefficient start to the season from the field. The Lakers next host the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, and we'll follow up on any updates regarding his health leading up to the game.