Kobe Bryant will be in the Los Angeles Lakers' starting lineup in his first game back since tearing his Achilles in April, the team officially announced via Twitter. The Lakers face the Toronto Raptors in his season debut. Bryant will be the starting shooting guard, sending Jodie Meeks to the bench.
Bryant's minutes are expected to be limited as he gets back into game shape. Mike D'Antoni did not put a specific number on his minutes in his first game back but told reporters he would be surprised if it exceeds the "twenties," according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The Lakers have depth in the wings to ease him back into the rotation after the career-altering injury he suffered last season.
Meeks is averaging career-highs in points per game, field goal percentage and three-point percentage as the Lakers' starting shooting guard in Bryant's absence. D'Antoni previously stated he was weighing his options on which wing would play in the starting lineup with Bryant and ultimately decided to keep Johnson with the starters.