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Lakers' Julius Randle hoping to return for summer league play

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle said his recovery from a season-ending broken leg during his NBA debut is going well and that he hopes to play in summer league.

"The plan is to be ready for training camp," Randle said during exit interviews at the Lakers' practice facility Tuesday. "Short-term goal: summer league. But we have to work up to that."

The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Randle was the Lakers' top draft choice in 2014, a bruising forward out of Kentucky who was drafted seventh overall. But he played only 14 minutes of the Lakers' season opener before suffering a fractured right tibia.

"Even though I didn't get to play [this season], it was still a huge learning process," Randle said. "I got a lot out of it. Obviously I wanted to play, but the valuable things I learned this year I wouldn't give away."

He said he feels great and has no soreness in his leg. He said he wasn't sure when he would be cleared for full-contact basketball activities on the court.

"Not too far," Randle said. "The key thing is my body feels great."

Randle also said he developed a relationship with Indiana Pacers star swingman Paul George, who suffered a broken leg last August.

"That's a guy that I've talked to a lot. He's offered encouragement," Randle said. "I may ask him when I have a bone callus on my leg. And when you first start running you feel it. ... He said, 'Yeah, it's normal, just keep pushing through it.'"

Randle said he also leaned on Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who has rehabbed through several injuries.

""He checked on me every day, every week and made sure my head was in the right place and getting ready for next year," Randle said.