Kobe Bryant might come back Friday against the Sacramento Kings, but how much he'll play is one of many questions surrounding his return.
A minutes restriction for one of the most finely conditioned NBA players ever? Possibly.
"There will probably be something," Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni said Sunday. "His conditioning will limit most of it."
Bryant hasn't played since April 12 because of a torn left Achilles' tendon.
D'Antoni wasn't sure whether Bryant would sit one game in back-to-back situations, a strategy he employed with Steve Nash this season.
"That would come from inside [the medical department] and him and whatever they tell me," D'Antoni said. "If that's a restriction, then they'll tell me."
Bryant isn't necessarily a sure thing to return Friday. The Lakers won't practice Monday but will the next three days.
The key will be how Bryant feels after those practices, assuming he can take part in all of them.
He went through two consecutive practice days two weeks ago but dialed it down after that because of general soreness in his left foot.
He hasn't practiced with the team again but has had numerous individual workouts. When the doors swung open for the team's Sunday morning shoot-around, he was working individually on post moves and catch-and-shoot sequences as members of the coaching staff fired balls to him.
There was no defense, no resistance, something he'll have to get accustomed to quickly.
If he doesn't play Friday, the Lakers' next game is Sunday against Toronto at Staples Center.
Bryant hasn't spoken to reporters since Tuesday, the day after he signed a two-year, $48.5-million contract extension.
He averaged 27.3 points and six assists last season.
Nash back . . . maybe
Nash was expected to return to Los Angeles on Monday after spending last week on a rehabilitation assignment with his personal trainer in Vancouver.
He hasn't played since Nov. 10 because of nerve damage in his back that required an epidural shot.
"I think he made some improvement but we'll see," D'Antoni said.
D'Antoni added that Nash might take part in Tuesday's practice.
Nash turns 40 in February and is averaging only 6.7 points and 4.8 assists in six games.