Once it became official that Kobe Bryant had ruptured his Achilles tendon and required surgery, the timetable of six to nine months was set for the five-time NBA champion to get back on the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Reportedly, Kobe says he’s on pace to fully recover from surgery much earlier than anticipated, via John Hartzell of NBA.com:
“The surgical procedure was different […] and because of that the recovery has been different,” Bryant said in the southern city of Shenzhen. “The normal timetable for recovery from an Achilles, we’ve shattered that. Three-and-a-half months I can already walk just fine, I’m lifting weights with the Achilles just fine and that’s different. So we don’t know what that timetable is going to be. It’s kind of new territory for us all.”
With Kobe walking around and touring China less than four months since suffering the injury, the veteran shooting guard being in the starting lineup against the Los Angeles Clippers on opening night on Oct. 29 is a very realistic possibility.
After sustaining the severe injury against the Golden State Warriors back in April, Kobe’s NBA career was thought to be in serious jeopardy. Kobe will be heading into the final year of his contract with the Lakers and has talked about retiring frequently over the past season, but it now appears that he is ready to extend his career by as much as three or four years.
The real question will be whether or not Kobe is the same player of old. The veteran guard will turn 35 later this month and coming back from an injury that has ended the careers of other NBA greats like Isiah Thomas and Dominique Wilkins.
Only time will tell if Kobe will remain one of the most dominant players in the league and will have another shot at a sixth NBA title as a result.
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