After all the hope and uncertainty, the Los Angeles Lakers have received some good news as they're expected to have Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol return to the starting lineup in Fridays game against the Washington Wizards.
Friday's game will be the first time since Jan. 30, Bryant and Gasol will be on the active roster with Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace.
Bryant participated in five-on-five scrimmage Thursday, as did Gasol.
Bryant left practice a little early, according to the L.A. Times, because his sprained ankle stiffened up on him a bit, but Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni doesn't feel too concerned that'll have any effect on his availability in Friday's game.
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"He'll be ready," D'Antoni said.
Bryant is averaging 27.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.8 assists this season.
Meanwhile, Gasol has been out of action since first injuring himself on Feb. 5 against the Brooklyn Nets. He ended up missing 20 games because of a tear inside the bottom of his right foot. In Friday's game he's only expected to see limited amount of playing time.
"It's not good," Gasol said of his conditioning. "But I'll continue to work on it and it'll continue to get better."
Without Gasol the Lakers clearly lack the size and strength inside to remain tough defensively when Howard is on the bench. Phoenix out-rebounded the Lakers 55-45 without Gasol on Monday, even with Howard and Earl Clark combining for 21 rebounds.
Gasol is averaging 13.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game this season.