Kobe Bryant can stand on his toes, which isn’t quite the same as dunking a basketball but does mean the surgically repaired Achilles tendon in his left foot is improving.
The Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard has been working one-on-one with team physical therapist Judy Seto and told Lakers.com that the progress has been good.
“It’s feeling really strong; I can walk without a limp,” Bryant said. “I can go up the stairs and just stand on my toe, which shows a lot of strength in the tendon.”
The Lakers’ roster still is taking form, with Dwight Howard’s free agency overshadowing Bryant’s recovery lately as the top story out of Los Angeles. But Bryant was the team’s best player last season when he averaged 27.3 points, 6.0 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals a game as a 34-year-old.
He’s battled through a littany of injuries in his NBA career and said he’ll continue to rely on his skills to overcome diminished athleticism as he heals and ages.
“You just adjust,” Bryant said. “I don’t think it’s reinventing the wheel or anything like that. If you have to play a slower game, you play a slower game. If you have to post up more, you post up more. If the explosiveness and speed is there, then it’s there, and you use it in moderation.”
He still expects to be back in the lineup by early December, at the latest. And when he’s back, there won’t be any hesitation or coddling requried.
“That’s one thing that you can really count on as long as I’m here,” Bryant said. “I’ll be out there ready to go, playing at a high level.”
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