After returning to practice two weeks ago, many believed it was only a matter of time before Kobe Bryant would return to the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers. Although Bryant has looked good in practice and is working his way back into game shape, the five-time NBA champion may still need more time.
GM Mitch Kupchak believes Bryant needs more time on the floor and may not be ready at this point in time according to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News via Twitter:
Mitch on Kobe: “I don’t think he’s contemplating or ready to play right now.”
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 26, 2013
The speculation continues to run rampant about Bryant’s return and which game he may be targeting. All indications seem to be pointing to Bryant returning at some point between now and Christmas Day, but there’s still no timetable for when he’ll be back and ready to go.
At this point in time, a safe bet for Bryant’s return may be on Dec. 25 against the Miami Heat. There’s no question Bryant is anxious to get back on the floor and will want to return much earlier than Christmas Day, but a realistic return date may very well be against the Heat next month.
With a few more full-contact practices under his belt and the contract situation behind him, Bryant’s return will be right around the corner pending any setbacks, but only time will tell if he’s able to return this month or the next.
ICYMI: The Lakers and Kobe Bryant reached agreement on a two-year extension.