Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has suggested that he could extend his career beyond the end of his current deal.
The 36-year-old was ruled out for the rest of the campaign in January after picking up a shoulder injury, but he insists that he will be fully fit to return for next season.
"Who the hell said I was retiring next year?" Bryant told reporters. "There was never a question for me, whether or not I was going to play next year. It was never a question."
The 17-time All-Star's current deal expires at the end of next season, and despite admitting that the plan is to retire, he says that prolonging his career is a possibility.
"As I sit here right now, do I want to play after next year? No. That could change," he added.
Injuries have restricted Bryant to just 41 games in the last two seasons.