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Los Angeles • Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is heading overseas to have a medical procedure unrelated to the torn Achilles tendon he sustained in April.

The Lakers said Thursday afternoon that Bryant is expected to return early next week.

He went to Germany twice in 2011 for a procedure on his sore right knee and a sore left ankle that bothered him at the time.

The Los Angeles Times on Thursday cited people with knowledge of the situation as saying that Bryant was going to Germany for a knee procedure.

Raptors take heat for government grant

The Ontario government has pitched in $500,000 to help the Toronto Raptors host the 2016 NBA All-Star game.

The Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment company, which owns the Raptors, got the grant through the "Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster" program.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the company was recently valued at $2.25 billion and "doesn't exactly need corporate welfare."

CTF Ontario director Candice Malcolm says the government has "no shame when it comes to wasting taxpayers' money."

The company says it asked for the money because it felt the event qualified for funding under the province's program to boost tourism.

Blazers' Aldridge has hip injury

All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge has a hip flexor strain and is day-to-day.

The 6-foot-11 Aldridge sustained the injury during Wednesday night's practice and did not participate in practice on Thursday. His return is uncertain.

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