There were some clips during the game that showed Kobe in street clothes after the shootaround and training in Oracle Arena. ESPN's Ric Bucher interviewed Kobe after they showed the clips. Bucher asked Kobe when he will be back, and Kobe answered, "I'll be back in the next game."
The Lakers have actually played well in the Black Mamba' absence. Both Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace look very confident in their abilities; MWP and Gasol have seen a great spike in their numbers, and the Lakers are enjoying how effective the two have been.
It is very important that Gasol and MWP play confident and to the best of their abilities. Last year in the playoffs, both Peace and Gasol did not play well, and it really hurt the team when they faced the Mavericks.
Even though the Lakers have done well without Kobe, they will be more than happy to welcome him back against the Spurs. The Lakers were able to beat the Spurs in their first matchup this year, but San Antonio torched them yesterday.
With Kobe in the starting lineup, the Lakers will have a much better chance at defeating the Spurs and earning the highest possible playoff seed.
Kobe's absence has been enough to instill confidence in his teammates. Now that the Black Mamba will be back in action, the Lakers must continue to play with this high level of confidence if they want to win their third championship in four years.