Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said on a radio show that he does not believe Kobe Bryant will return as the same player when he comes back to the Los Angeles Lakers at some point this season, following a torn Achillies tendon late in the 2012-13 campaign.

“It's a rebuilding year for them because Kobe has been hurting and he has a very devastating type of injury," Abdul-Jabbar said. "I don't think he will be able to come back as quickly and completely as he would like. It's gonna be tough on the Lakers this year.

"When Kobe does come back, it's gonna be a different Kobe and that will definitely effect the outcome for the Lakers long-term. … It's gonna be a test for him this year, absolutely.”

Bryant has said he does not have an exact timetable on his return.