LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The purple-and-gold are back, but is Kobe Bryant?
The health of the Los Angeles Lakers future Hall-of-Famer is among several questions lingering over the team ahead of its 2014-15 season opener against the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center.
Coach and former Lakers great Byron Scott will also be making his debut, albeit with a depleted roster: five of the Lakers' 15 players will be unavailable to play due to injury.
"I'm eager to get this thing started," Scott said. "I wish we were a lot more healthier than we are now."
Health will also be the overarching theme for Bryant, who will play his first official game since he went down last December with a fractured left knee in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, forcing him to miss the final 57 games of the season.
"I'm excited to get back out there," Bryant said. "I can't say that I haven't missed the game. I've missed it so much."
When asked what part of the game he missed the most, Bryant responded, "Everything."
Tonight's game will also mark a bit of history for Bryant, who will tie former Utah Jazz guard John Stockton for the most seasons played in the NBA with one team at 19.
Two of the team's starters, point guard Jeremy Lin and forward Carlos Boozer, are among seven new faces on the Lakers.
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