Kobe Bryant is now closer to a return, practicing at full speed in five-on-five drills for the first time earlier this weeks and saying he could see himself returning to game action for the Los Angeles Lakers by the end of the November.
The star guard has been out since rupturing his Achilles tendon back in April 12. While Bryant and the team’s coach Mike D’Antoni agree that the player is not top notch and there are “areas where it still needs to get stronger,” both do agree they’ve been “pleasantly surprised” by how well he seems to have responded to the escalation in activity since he was cleared to resume all basketball activities Saturday.
Coach D’Antoni as well as YouWager experts know that the Lakers need to be cautious with Bryant, but also are in agreement that the player is looking better.
“He hasn’t played since April but he looks pretty good,” D’Antoni stated. “I don’t know why that surprises me, but it does. He was up and down pretty good. A little rusty here and there, but good.”
When asked if he noticed any of the player’s teammates taking it easy on him, or if he was worried about pushing Bryant too hard, D’Antoni laughed and said, “No. They better beat him up while they can because after he gets back they won’t be able to.”
Los Angeles (5-7) could certainly use Bryant’s scoring ability in general and especially late in games. Fellow shooting guard Jodie Meeks is the Lakers’ leading scorer at 13.7 points a game, by far the lowest team scoring leader in the league.
Many online sports betting fans are asking themselves just how long it will take Bryant to step back into that role once he is back.
Los Angeles will meet the Golden State Warriors Friday, the team Bryant was initially injured against. They host the Sacramento Kings on Sunday before leaving on a weeklong trip to meet the Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons. The Lakers will host the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, Dec. 1, then have nearly a week off before traveling to Sacramento on Dec. 6.