Continuing his rehab, Kobe Bryant is still ahead of schedule from Achilles injury recovery, but it looks as if the ambitious timetable to return for the first game of the season may not happen.
Lakers trainer, Gary Vitti, says that Mamba's rehab is still going well, but currently he is only running on 75 percent of his bodyweight (using those anti-gravity treadmills.) When pressed to give a date on Kobe's return, Vitti put it at about a few weeks just to be able to run on all his weight. That means it will not be until the first week of training camp that he can even hit the basketball floor.
Leaving him out of most likely all of training camp would mean he will probably miss pre-season games.
Kobe Bryant continued his rehab on his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon, as expected, the latest involving running at 75 percent of his body weight on a treadmill. Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti expects Bryant remains a “few weeks away” before advancing to full-weight bearing running, though he acknowledged that’s a “nebulous term.” …
“He’s doing well and has had no setbacks,” Vitti said Thursday at his trainer’s office at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo in a wide-ranging interview with this newspaper. “There’s no projected date. He’ll be ready when he’s ready. Nobody has a crystal ball on this thing.”
Bryant must first complete full-weight bearing running drills before advancing to on-court basketball activities. Vitti offered no timetable on how long it would take for Bryant to complete each stage, let alone whether he will appear in the Lakers’ season opener Oct. 29 against the Clippers. It’s safe to pencil Bryant out of the beginning of Lakers’ training camp, beginning Sept. 28, though it’s not clear if he could play in at least the tail end of the Lakers’ eight-game preseason schedule that ends on Oct. 25.
Taking the information we've seen over the past few weeks, it looks doubtful that KB24 will lace up for the season opener, but Lakers fans shouldn't expect him to miss too much of the season. That being said, who knows how long it will be until he loses all the rust and rounds into form. Bryant is notorious for his near maniacal-like off season workouts, and this year all he's been able to do is focus on rehab, so it could be awhile before he is at 100 percent.