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Lakers' Mike D'Antoni confident Kobe Bryant will return to form

May 25, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Coach Mike D'Antoni said he think Kobe Bryant will make a strong return for the Lakers after recovering from an Achilles' injury.
Coach Mike D'Antoni said he think Kobe Bryant will make a strong return… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni expects Kobe Bryant to return strong from his Achilles' injury next season.

"With his determination and his brain, he's got a good chance at it," said D'Antoni to SNY.tv.  "I know he'll be effective and good."

Bryant tore his Achilles' tendon April 12 in a victory over the Golden State Warriors. He had surgery the following day, and was expected to be out six to nine months.

"We'll just see, see how the summer plays out, but Kobe will be fine and he'll be back 100%," D'Antoni said.

The Lakers have a number of issues to deal with over the off-season, specifically the status of free agent center Dwight Howard.

"Dwight, I don't know," D'Antoni said. "We'll see.  Obviously, we can't really talk about it."

The Lakers hope to re-sign Howard to a five-year deal in July. Howard may explore a number of options, including the Lakers.

D'Antoni also acknowledged he won't continue as an assistant with Team USA.

"It's been an unbelievable experience and I would recommend it for any coach," D'Antoni said.  "But I kind of ran my course, and happy for it."

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Phil Jackson skeptical that Dwight Howard has reason to return to Lakers

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

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