On Tuesday, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant practiced for the second time since April, after tearing his Achilles tendon in a win over the Golden State Warriors.

Bryant's return date remains a mystery, although he suggested it could be before the end of the month.

"We'll see," was said by both Bryant and Coach Mike D'Antoni.

If Friday or Sunday at home is feasible, the Lakers certainly downplayed the possibility.

A return against the Warriors on Friday would seem scripted, seven months after an injured Bryant hit two free throws to help seal the Lakers' win over Golden State.

D'Antoni called Friday nearly impossible.

After the Lakers play the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on Sunday, they travel to Washington, Brooklyn and Detroit for three games in four nights.  It might make sense for the Lakers to wait until after the trip.

While Bryant has been medically cleared to play, Dec. 1 at home against the Portland Trail Blazers might be the date to circle -- but would Bryant defying the odds for an even earlier return be a surprise?

The Lakers have survived without Bryant, winning five of 12 despite a difficult schedule. Players such as Jordan Hill, Jodie Meeks and Steve Blake have helped carry the team.

Late in practice on Tuesday, D'Antoni played Bryant at small forward next to a backcourt of Blake and Meeks.  Bryant also played some time at his natural shooting guard position.

It's only a matter of time before Bryant is back on the court, but Meeks may be too hot for D'Antoni to bench.

Meeks is the Lakers' leading scorer at 13.7 points a game on 52.8% shooting from the field and 49.2% shooting from three.

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Bryant practices again with Lakers, says he might play this month

Twitter: @EricPincus

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