NBA Roundup: Kobe Bryant hopes to return before end of season

The SportsXchange

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said Saturday his injured knee will be re-evaluated in early February and insisted that he does not plan to sit out the rest of the season, according to a report by ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Bryant fractured his left knee in November and was expected to miss six weeks. The Lakers are 15-25, which is 13th in the Western Conference.

There has been speculation that Bryant would sit out the season if the Lakers' struggles continue. He said after Friday night's game he wants to come back, regardless of the team's record.

Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni recently said Bryant would be re-evaluated Jan. 27, so date has been pushed back a few days.

Bryant played in six games this season since he returned from a torn Achilles tendon he sustained last April. He averaged 13.8 points, 6.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 29.5 minutes per game before the knee injury.

--- Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade was not expected to play in Saturday's game against the Charlotte Bobcats, according to Turner Sports.

Wade has been dealing with knee issues and has occasionally missed games to rest. This season, Wade is averaging 18.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

--- New Orleans Pelicans center Jason Smith is out indefinitely with a right knee injury, the team announced. An MRI revealed cartilage damage in the knee.

Smith is averaging 9.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1 block in 26.8 minutes over 31 games this season.

The Pelicans are also without leading scorer Ryan Anderson, who has a herniated disk in his back, and starting point guard Jrue Holiday with a stress fracture in his right shin. Guard Tyreke Evans also has a left ankle sprain.

--- The Phoenix Suns signed guard Leandro Barbosa to a second 10-day contract.

Barbosa signed his first 10-day contract with the club on Jan. 8. The 31-year-old guard is averaging 9.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 21.5 minutes over four games this season.

He has averaged 12.6 points, 2.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 466 games with Phoenix from 2003-10. He is in his 11th NBA season overall.

--- The Dallas Mavericks assigned guard Ricky Ledo to the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League. Ledo is averaging 1.9 points and 3.3 minutes in nine games for the Mavericks this season.
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