Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said he expects to be back for the team’s training camp in September.
Bryant spoke briefly to ESPN before the Lakers' 123-118 double overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday. He had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder this week and is expected to miss up to nine months.
When asked if he will be ready for training camp, Bryant said, "Yeah, that's the plan.”
Next season will be Bryant’s last on his current contract and he is scheduled to make $25 million. He says he doesn’t care about what people say about whether he should return or retire.
"I don't really listen much to what people have to say to be honest with you," Bryant said.
This is Bryant's third serious injury in the past three seasons -- he tore his Achilles in 2013 and a knee injury wiped out the majority of last season.
Bryant, 36, averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 35 games this season, while shooting a career-low 37 percent.
- Scooby Axson