Not many things went right last year for the Los Angeles Lakers. It seemed more like a soap opera at times than a basketball organization. Between injuries and embattled stars like Dwight Howard, the Lakers didn’t experience the type of year they had in mind.
It could not have gone any worse for Los Angeles towards the end of the year as their future Hall of Fame guard Kobe Bryant tore his achilles, putting him out for the year and of course the playoffs. Well, fast forward not even two months and Bryant looks to make a triumphant return to the court.
Yesterday, Bryant tweeted that he was off crutches with a simple, subtle message: “#Walking. #crutchesoff”
He is optimistic he will be ready for the start of the 2013-2014 campaign. When asked by ESPNLosAngeles if he would be given the green light to start his rehab soon, Bryant responded:
“I hope so. That’s the challenge. With the tendon, there’s really only but so much you can do. There’s a certain amount of time that they deem necessary for the tendon to heal where you don’t overstretch it and now you never get that spring back.
“So, you just have to be patient, let the tendon heal, and then when that moment comes when they say, ‘OK, we can take off the regulator so to speak and now it’s on you to train as hard as you can to get back to where you want to be,’ that’s going to be a good day.”
If Bryant can return to the court by the start of the season, that is just one check mark off the to-do list for the Lakers. Throughout the offseason they’re going to need to get their organization back to where they want it. With the impending free agency market about to hit next month, they could be without Howard.
Whether you see that as a plus or minus for the Lakers, the fact is that they could be losing the best all-around center in the league to another franchise. Translation: Bryant’s injury is not the only big issue needing to be worked out over the next few months.