Los Angeles, CA - According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Kobe Bryant returned to practice with the Los Angeles Lakers today for the first time since he tore his Achilles in April. Kobe Bryant had a very quick recovery from this type of injury and returned much earlier than was originally expected. The Lakers have struggled a bit without Bryant this season, but they were able to win some games to at least stay right in the mix.
“If there was a playoff game tonight, I’d play. I’d play. I don’t know how effective I would be, but I would play. The fadeaway still works, the ballhandling, being able to post. Those are things that I can do right now. But it’s not the playoffs, thank god.” – Kobe Bryant to NBA TV
“It’s tough because once I’ve set that as a target then I’m hell-bent at doing it at all costs, even to the detriment of the damn Achilles,” Bryant told NBA TV. “I try to just stay in the moment and really try to listen to my body. The biggest thing is I have not done anything athletically for six months, seven months. You got to get your body back in shape. And doing that, if I was healthy — completely healthy — you have that much time off and get back in shape and your knee is going to ache, your ankle is going to hurt, your back is going to be out. So you got to go through your progressions as you normally would over the course of a summer.” - Kobe Bryant
Obviously all this news is great news for the Los Angeles Lakers and their fans. Despite missing Kobe, the Lakers have been able to compete with teams and win a few basketball games which bodes even better with their best player back on the court. Could the Lakers make the playoffs? That’s a question that is a bit difficult to answer at this point. It will certainly be interesting to watch how Bryant fits with the team once he does make his comeback.
Evan Massey is the Lead Editor for Hoops-Nation. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.