Seven months after having surgery on his ruptured Achilles, Lakers star Kobe Bryant has finally received full medical clearance to resume basketball activity. This past Saturday Bryant participated in his first practice of the season, taking part in some drills (mostly non-contact) and shooting. Given the Lakers rough start to the 2013-2014 season, this news couldn’t have come at any better time, as this roster is in need of a go-to guy.
While this news is amazing, and very good for the Lakers, fans still should remain patient with Kobe, as he still is going to miss some time before making his season debut. Full medical clearance doesn’t necessarily mean that we all can expect Kobe to be back on the court during the next Lakers game, but it does shed some light on how close Kobe might be to making a return according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report.
“Even with full clearance, though, Bryant is not expected to jump right back into game action Friday night against Golden State or even the next week of Thanksgiving. Bryant wants to test his ankle joint and see how it responds, which he will get to on an initial basis with full-scale team practices set for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
In testing himself, Bryant intends to be thorough. That’s why he surprised teammates by how driven he was in that team workout on a quiet Saturday meant to be a light day in the gym for the Lakers. Said teammate Jordan Hill, “I thought he wasn’t going to go that hard, but he was really pushing it.”
The return of Kobe has been one of the more anticipated events of the 2013-2014 NBA season. And while the Lakers seemingly aren’t expected to be contenders for an NBA championship, those assumptions cannot be taken serious until we see how everything gels with Bryant back on the court.
Until then, fans should continue to enjoy the exciting play now, and only hope that when the Black Mamba comes back that this team can take it to another level.
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