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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant Talks With David Beckham Regarding Achilles

USA TODAY – Robert Hanashiro

Kobe Bryant has consulted with former MLS soccer star David Beckham regarding his torn Achilles tendon recovery. Like Bryant, Beckham tore his Achilles towards the end of his career while playing with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2010. Beckham had surgery in March and ended up returning to the lineup only six months later, helping the Galaxy win the 2011 MLS Cup.

Bryant’s “pretty encouraged” he will return in similar fashion.

When Bryant tore his Achilles in the 79th game of the season, the entire sports world, including myself, struggled to grasp the possibility of the great Kobe Bryant greatness coming to an end. Bryant originally wanted to return for opening day next season but has since backed off and is now planning to be back by November or December.

The Los Angeles Lakers need to get younger. Veteran experience and leadership are both proven assets in important playoff games and contending for titles, but young legs are needed for energy, effort and defense. The San Antonio Spurs looked like a team on the verge of capturing their fifth NBA title, but down the stretch age caught up with them and they simply ran out of gas.

As long as Bryant is wearing the purple and gold, he will be the unheralded leader. I’m still hoping in his 18th season, at age 35, he will be able to produce at an elite level. However, Bryant cannot do it alone. In an age where free agency dictates team success (as opposed to the draft), he will need Dwight Howard to re-sign with the Lakers or hope for another free agent to land in the City of Angels.

Eric N. Ellington covers the Los Angeles Lakers for Rant Sports. Follow him at @EricNEllington