Lakers' Kobe Bryant expected for opener after returning to practice

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant completed a full practice Sunday for the first time since he suffered a lower leg bruise during an Oct. 13 preseason game in Las Vegas.

Bryant, 37, didn't speak to reporters afterward. Lakers coach Byron Scott said he still expects Bryant to play in the Lakers' regular-season opener Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, though Bryant still has rust to shake off from a long layoff.

"Yeah, I told him if he couldn't go [Sunday], [Monday] we could start worrying," Scott said after practice at the Lakers' facility here. "He walked out [Sunday], he said it felt good. He gave me a thumbs-up. Went through the scrimmage and everything. You can see a little rust, but other than that, he was moving pretty fluid again. It was just good to see."

Scott emphasized that Bryant moved well on the court.

"It was good," Scott said. "It was better than I thought it was going to be after being out for a couple weeks. That's something that he'll continue to work on, and obviously he has another two more practices before we gear up. So I really expect that he'll be able to knock some more rust off [Monday] and Tuesday."

Lakers forward Metta World Peace said Bryant looked sharp during scrimmages.

"He played well. He was shooting in people's faces," World Peace said. "The white team was beating up the purple team. And then somebody decided to talk [trash] to Kobe. That was the wrong thing to do."

Bryant, whose past three seasons have all been cut short by injury, is entering his 20th season with the Lakers and the final year of his deal with the team, during which he'll be paid a league-high $25 million.