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Mike D'Antoni expects Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to play Friday

March 20, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Injured Lakers stars Kobe Bryant, left, and Pau Gasol were in street clothes as their teammates took on the Phoenix Suns on Monday.
Injured Lakers stars Kobe Bryant, left, and Pau Gasol were in street clothes… (Ross D. Franklin / Associated…)

Coach Mike D'Antoni said he expects Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to play Friday as the Lakers host the Washington Wizards.

Bryant sprained his ankle in the closing seconds of a loss to Atlanta on March 13.  After pushing through the first quarter against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, Bryant hasn't been able to play.

Wednesday marks six weeks and two days since Pau Gasol's foot injury suffered  Feb. 5 against the Brooklyn Nets.  The Lakers' original prognosis was a minimum of six to eight weeks.

Gasol went through four-on-four scrimmage after practice.  Bryant was held out but D'Antoni noted the Lakers All-Star guard probably would practice Thursday.

If the full contingent of Lakers play Friday, it would be just the second game of the season D'Antoni has had all of his players (except Jordan Hill, out with a hip injury).

D'Antoni will bring Gasol back into the starting lineup, although he may take a few games to work him in from off the bench.

ALSO:

Kobe Bryant as assistant coach?

Pau Gasol's foot improves but still no timetable for his return

Seven-man rotation a symptom, not the cause of Phoenix loss

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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