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Kobe Bryant closer to returning after running, jumping without pain

April 18, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan and Mark Medina
  • Lakers guard Kobe Bryant gives a high-five to a teammate while sitting on the bench during Sunday's game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant gives a high-five to a teammate while sitting on… (Paul Buck / EPA )

OAKLAND -- Kobe Bryant missed a seventh consecutive game because of a sore left shin but moved closer to returning after completing running and jumping exercises without feeling pain.

If Bryant does not feel discomfort Thursday, he could return Friday against San Antonio.

"There's a chance," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said.

"I'll probably be on the floor next game," Bryant added to ESPN's Ric Bucher.

Several hours before Wednesday's game against Golden State, Bryant took dozens of shots and underwent a workout that included some full-speed running.

"He's made progress and we like where he is right now," Brown said.

The Lakers (39-23) have only three regular-season games left after Wednesday.

They are 4-2 without Bryant and hoping to fend off the Clippers for third place in the Western Conference.

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Kobe Bryant closer to returning after running, jumping without pain

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