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Kobe Bryant announces he'll play Sunday for Lakers

12:33 PM, Dec 7, 2013   |    comments
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, shown Oct. 18, has shot around and practiced with the team but not played this season. (Photo: Danny La, USA TODAY Sports)
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Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will return to the court Sunday against the Toronto Raptors, he announced on his Facebook page Friday afternoon.

Out since tearing his left Achilles tendon April 12, the 2007-08 NBA MVP and 15-time NBA All-Star posted a video leading into finally announcing a return date. He has been practicing with the team as he rebuilds strength in the Achilles.

Bryant, 35, was an All-NBA first-teamer last season, averaging 27.3 points, 6.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds a game. Without him, the Lakers were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs.

The Lakers, who play Friday night at the Sacramento Kings, have managed to stay afloat without Bryant at 9-9. However, in the dense Western Conference, that puts them in a three-team tie for 10th place and out of the playoff picture. Pau Gasol has led the team with 14.3 points and 9.9 rebounds a game.

Sunday's game (9:30 p.m. ET) at Staples Center will be shown on NBATV, a decision made by the station before Bryant's return was revealed.

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