Both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant sat out the tail end of preseason due to injuries, but both players are expected to suit up when their respective teams begin the 2015-16 season.
James recently got an anti-inflammatory injection in his back to deal with some soreness, and while the Cleveland Cavaliers star hasn’t yet been cleared to play by the team, Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears reports that LeBron will likely suit up against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.
James has dealt with some lingering back issues the past few years, and this is the second time in the last 10 months he’s received a shot to deal with the injury. He may need another shot at some point in the future, but the back is improving enough to where he’ll be able to go in Chicago.
Meanwhile, Bryant suffered a lower leg contusion earlier in the preseason. He sat out the last three games, but Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott said a few days ago that “there’s no doubt” Kobe will play in the opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes. Scott softened his stance on Saturday, but he’s still confident Bryant will play:
Byron can't guarantee Kobe will play in Lakers' opener Wednesday vs Minnesota. But he thinks it'll happen.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) October 24, 2015
As Bryant is 37 years old and returning from a third consecutive season-ending injury, he and the Lakers have likely just been playing it safe with this leg problem. Perhaps it’s more serious than they’re letting on, but expect to see Kobe playing on opening night.