Kobe Bryant will return to the court for the Lakers Tuesday night, feeling about 85 percent recovered from his ankle problems but also ready to perform like a speedy, graceful animal.
"I feel fine," Bryant, who has missed five games -- plus the All-Star Game -- with a left ankle sprain and sore tendon, told the Los Angeles Times . "I feel like a gazelle."
Bryant said he is prepared to return "while I play to get to 100 percent."
Lakers coach Phil Jackson didn't say how many minutes Bryant would get against the Grizzlies.
The Lakers have gone 4-1 in Bryant's absence while displaying balanced scoring, with at least four players in double figures in each game. Forward Pau Gasol said Bryant's return "will be a little bit of an adjustment for us."
Bryant said: "Everybody is playing with a pretty good rhythm. The key is just to keep it going."
Forward Ron Artest sounded unconcerned about any adjustments.
"It's how we're looking getting back with Kobe," Artest said. "Don't get it twisted now. This is the Mamba show and we're happy to have him back."