Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe IX 9 Elite Inline PE (1)

words // Brandon Richard

After suffering devastating injuries in back-to-back seasons, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant made his long-awaited return to the court in a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets yesterday.

Bryant, who missed 76 games last season, scored 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting in his first game back. He added 5 assists and 2 rebounds in nearly 21 minutes of action.

As usual, we'll have to wait until next year to see the new Nike Kobe model. The Mamba got this season started in the 'Inline' Kobe 9 Elite PE that he was also spotted wearing on Media Day.

Kobe is one of the players that we'll be keeping a closer eye on in this season of NBA Sole Watch. Enjoy a few shots from his return below.

Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe IX 9 Elite Inline PE (2)

Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe IX 9 Elite Inline PE (3)

Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe IX 9 Elite Inline PE (4)

Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe IX 9 Elite Inline PE (5)

images via Jake Roth for USA Today Sports