Mitch Kupchak: 'Kobe Bryant will be back this season'

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is confident that Kobe Bryant will be able to return from his Achilles tear this season.

Mitch Kupchak has insisted that Kobe Bryant will be able to take to the court this season.

The Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard tore his Achilles in a game against the Golden State Warriors in April.

The general manager told reporters: "No real expectations. I do believe he'll get back and play this season. You won't be able to look at him and say he was hurt. He'll get back on the court, he'll be healthy, but he is 35.

"His game has been evolving anyway the last two or three years, although statistically you would not notice that. Even if there is a difference statistically this year, it may be a function not of the injury, but of the team we have, he may decide to get players involved more or do things differently.

"He comes into the season with a mindset of how he's going to play. I do expect when he does come back, and if he's thinking a certain way, and we're down by two or three, the Kobe we all know and love is going to take the last shot. I do know that."

Bryant has won five championships during his 17-season NBA career.

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant rises high to dunk against the New Orleans Pelicans on April 22, 2011
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