According to Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding, Kobe Bryant has now been fully cleared for all basketball activities.
Bryant’s full clearance means he can do anything and everything without restriction, as the recovery from his ruptured left Achilles tendon nears its conclusion. Bryant and the Lakers’ staff still has yet to set a target date for Bryant’s return, but full clearance is certainly a significant step in the right direction.
Bryant, who practiced this past Saturday, earned the respect of teammates for how hard he pushed himself.
“I thought he wasn’t going to go that hard,” said Jordan Hill on Saturday, “but he was really pushing it.”
Jodie Meeks was also impressed by Bryant’s work in practice.
“We were just doing drills, nothing 100 percent, but he looked really good,” added Meeks. “After being out for seven months, it’s amazing to see him our there like that.”
One of Bryant’s closest teammates, Pau Gasol, also chimed in on Bryant.
“He looked good and did a few moves I didn’t expect him to do right away,” said Gasol. “I’m very happy for him and for us, and definitely looking forward to when he’ll play in a game.”
The Lakers, currently sitting at 5-7, could use their leader back on the court as soon as possible. Bryant still remains ahead of schedule as he returns from the torn Achilles tendon he suffered back in April.
Even though he is one of the toughest players to ever play the game, Bryant still wants to be as thorough as possible with his rehabilitation to avoid returning prematurely.
With four days off until the Lakers play Golden State on Friday, expect Bryant to continue ramping up his workouts. Although there is still no set target date for his return, Bryant could be privately targeting a return on December 1st vs. Portland, after the Lakers return from their three-game road trip.
Bryant may also be targeting December 6th at Sacramento, a favorite venue of his and a game in which the Lakers have three days off prior to their matchup with the Kings.
Question marks still obviously remain about Bryant’s effectiveness, after recovering from such a serious injury; but, if any player can overcome the severity of an Achilles tear, it’s Kobe Bryant.
Back in June, Bryant made his initial prediction for his return: “shooting for November—December latest.” But Bryant also said, “once I’m ready to go, it’s gonna be on.”
Well, it’s on now.