With three days between their next game, the Los Angeles Lakers took to the practice floor this afternoon and Kobe Bryant joined his teammates. It was the first time Bryant practiced since last Saturday as he tries to regain the explosiveness he had prior to his Achilles surgery.
In his press conference in Washington D.C. last week after signing his two-year extension, Bryant said the four days after the Lakers returned home from their short trip would be critical in his recovery. There’s continued speculation that the 35-year-old guard is closing in on his return and after practice today, forward Pau Gasol liked what he saw via the Lakers official Twitter account:
Pau on Kobe: “Looked good. Can tell he’s been working a lot on his own. He’s in a good rhythm. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s practice.”
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 3, 2013
Bryant practiced the entire time the Lakers were on the floor and the starters beat the reserves 21-13 in the five-on-five portion that was available to the media. Head coach Mike D’Antoni praised Bryant’s efforts today, claiming he was “able to do everything”, but Bryant won’t address the media this afternoon, leaving his status for Friday in the air.
Without him in the lineup, the Lakers are 9-9, but their record could be much better if it weren’t for some poor execution down the stretch. Meanwhile, the surplus of guards available to D’Antoni diminished yesterday with the news that guard Jordan Farmar will be sidelined at least a month and Steve Nash still recovering from various injuries.
The unit Bryant scrimmaged with included Pau Gasol, Wesley Johnson, Steve Blake and the rotation of Shawne Williams and Jordan Hill. It also isn’t known if he’ll play the shooting guard or small forward position when he returns to the starting lineup.
With Bryant expected to partake in practice tomorrow, it sounds like he continues to make progress and should be on the court in the coming days, granted there aren’t any setbacks.
Jordan Farmar Injury & Pau Gasol Update