After being cleared for full weight-bearing running before the trip to China, Kobe Bryant was seen shooting and running on the court. Since returning to Los Angeles, Bryant has scaled back his workouts and chose to run on an altered-gravity treadmill on Mon. Oct. 28.
While Bryant's reason was to allow his Achilles to get more flexibility, there were immediate concerns that he had suffered a setback. It was later disputed by team's public relations vice president John Black and in an interview with Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears on Oct. 29, Bryant updated everyone about his progress.
According to Bryant, he has revamped his basketball activities and will continue to measure his progress this week:
"This week I'm pushing it again and measuring it and seeing how it does. I pushed it really hard [Monday], and it feels pretty good today. So I will push it again [Tuesday] night then measure it [Wednesday] morning and continue to go from there."
With the tendon healed, Bryant is working to get the flexibility back in his ankle at this point:
"At the end of the day it's really the ankle joint. The tendon is fine, but the ankle joint from being immobilized so much is naturally stiff. So it's about breaking through that and increasing that flexibility. If it recovers find the next day you can push it and keep on going."
Considering the severity of this injury, it is encouraging to see how much progress Kobe has made over these past five months. Since Bryant doesn't plan to play until he can perform at a high-level, he will continue to take his time and doesn't know when he will return.
While there were concerns that he would return earlier than he should to help the Lakers, Kobe wants to make sure that he doesn't give his doubters any opportunity to be right. With the Lakers starting the season without him for the first time in seven years, they will need to stay afloat until Bryant returns.
Check out Ryan Ward's articles at LakersNation.com