Questions remain on when Kobe Bryant will actually step foot onto a basketball court. But he provided yet another example Monday on how he’s made tangible progress surrounding his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon.
Bryant posted a video on his Instagram account that showed him at the Lakers’ practice facility running on a weight-bearing treadmill. Bryant then added the hashtags, “#mambamental” and “#vinoclock.”
In a sit-down interview with comedian Jimmy Kimmel last week at the Nokia Theatre, Bryant said he’s unsure whether he would suit up in the Lakers’ season opener Oct. 29 against the Clippers at Staples Center. Ever since Bryant suffered the injury April 12 against the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers have estimated he’d return within six to nine months. Yet, Bryant has said in numerous interviews he has made progress that could expedite his return.
Only 2 1/2 weeks passed after his injury when Bryant had his stitches removed. The following week, Bryant went off crutches in favor of a walking boot. By the beginning of June, Bryant walked without any assistance. By the end of that month, Bryant already started shooting free throws.
Of course, plenty of more work awaits. Bryant still has to return to the basketball court and compete various skills and conditioning drills. It then remains to be seen how that will translate both in contact practices and in live games. But it’s clear Bryant’s moving steadily along, and that’s all the Lakers can ask for during this uncertain time.
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