The Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has begun practicing with the team, has been cleared for all basketball related activities, and has stated that he hopes to return before the month of November ends. While the news certainly sparked hope and anxiousness from Lakers fans worldwide awaiting his return, they will have to keep calm as Bryant will not be returning by this weekend.
According to Yahoo! Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, Bryant is still evaluating his limitations to decide when is the appropriate time for his return.
“You’ve got to be honest with yourself, and if you have those limitations, then you’ve got to figure out a way to be effective around those,” Bryant told reporters at the Lakers practice facility Tuesday. “You can’t be stubborn about that. If there are certain things that I used to do that I can’t do now, I won’t try to do them. I’ve got to figure out another way.”
Bryant has been ruled out of Friday’s game against the Golden State Warriors, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said, and league sources say that he’s ruled out the possibility of returning against Sacramento on Sunday in the Staples Center.
Bryant is certainly one of the rarest of them all. He has surpassed basketball norms to still be one of the best players in the league today. Judging by the class of 1996 alone, none are playing to the level Bryant is capable of at this age. Steve Nash, Jermaine O’Neal, and Ray Allen are the few still relevant from the class. It is even a miracle that Bryant is still playing, let alone returning from an injury as serious as a snapped Achilles. All the while, he could be one of the top 5 players in the league when at 100%.
At this stage in his career, Bryant is right to calculate when it is best for him to return from an injury this severe. He does not have much time left and he will be sure that every minute he plays will not be one wasted, but one to prove how rare and valuable he is.