Report: Kobe Bryant ‘Definitely’ Returning Next Season After Surgery


Kobe Bryant isn’t about to spend his final days in the NBA on the injured list.

The Los Angeles Lakers announced Monday that Bryant would undergo surgery this week on his torn rotator cuff, almost certainly sidelining him for the remainder of the 2014-15 season. If that’s indeed the case, this would be the third consecutive season cut short for Bryant because of injury.

At age 36, the 17-time All-Star’s storied career undoubtedly is nearing its end. But despite this latest setback, reports from the Los Angeles Times’ Mike Bresnahan indicate that Bryant not only intends to be back on the court for the Lakers come October, but he also plans to continue his efforts to recruit fellow stars to L.A.

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Bryant said last week that one of the players receiving the Kobe recruiting pitch will be Rajon Rondo, whom he attempted to woo before the Boston Celtics traded the guard to the Dallas Mavericks last month.

That Bryant doesn’t want to sail off into the sunset on a negative note is no surprise, and the fact that he’ll be away from the court for the rest of the season actually might end up being a positive for the Lakers, who now can shift into full-on tank mode.

L.A. entered Monday with the second-worst record in the Western Conference and the fourth-worst in the NBA, putting it right in the thick of the race for projected top draft pick Jahlil Okafor.

Thumbnail photo via Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports Images

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