Kobe Bryant to begin training next week

Kobe Bryant has missed nearly the entire 2013-14 season. His return to health is key to the Lakers' immediate future. But it's anyone's guess whether he can overcome the latest injuries and be effictive again. Photo by David Crane/Staff Photographer

Kobe Bryant has missed nearly the entire 2013-14 season. His return to health is key to the Lakers’ immediate future. But it’s anyone’s guess whether he can overcome the latest injuries and be effictive again. Photo by David Crane/Staff Photographer

SAN ANTONIO — Just as the Lakers begin to wrap up a disastrous season, Kobe Bryant already started his quest to turn it around.

Bryant will begin training next Monday, the Lakers star revealed in a tweet, after staying sidelined for the past five months because of a season-ending fractured left knee injury.

Bryant traveled with family members to France for a short vacation this week, according to a source familiar with his itinerary. The Lakers said they were unaware of Bryant’s travel arrangements and deferred questions to Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, who did not respond to efforts through phone and e-mail for comment.

The Lakers were aware, however, since last week that Bryant planned to postpone his exit meeting with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, who will talk with the rest of the team’s roster Thursday and Friday. Bryant plans to talk with Kupchak at some point in a few weeks to discuss the Lakers efforts to rebuild after missing the playoffs for the sixth time in franchise history and cementing the franchise’s worst record since moving to Los Angeles 54 years ago

Bryant has kept a low profile this season and has skipped traveling with the team for the past two months, opting to focus his efforts on rehabbing his left knee than having a visible presence around the team. The Lakers scheduled to have Bryant address the fans before their home finale Sunday against Memphis, but did not attend because of an illness. Bryant attended the Lakers’ photo shoot, but accounts described him as very edgy. Nick Young shared that Bryant has often said, perhaps in jest, that he refuses to talk to anyone on the team because it has spent this season remaining several games below the .500 mark.

Bryant missed the first 19 games while rehabbing his left Achilles tendon. Before his knee injury, Bryant appeared in six games, averaging 13.8 points on 42.5 percent shooting, 6.3 assists and 5.7 turnovers in 29.5 minutes. Bryant is under contract through the 2015-16 season for $48.5 million.


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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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