Even though we’re nearly a month into the season and Kobe Bryant still hasn’t returned, the Los Angeles Lakers star still believes he’s ahead of schedule.
“I feel like I’m ahead of schedule,” Bryant told former teammate Rick Fox in an interview for NBA TV on Friday. “If there was a playoff game tonight, I’d play. I’d play. I don’t know how effective I’d 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.”
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni says that Bryant has been going through shooting drills during practice, but still doesn’t know whether or not he’s ready to practice with the team.
Bryant says that he still doesn’t have a return date in mind.
“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.”
Personally, I’m still looking at that first week of December for a return for the Mamba. Give or take?