The surgeon who repaired Kobe Bryant's torn Achilles' tendon is "optimistic" about his recovery prospects. From the LA Times:
The doctor who performed surgery on Kobe Bryant's ruptured Achilles' tendon said he expects the Lakers star to be back playing at some point next season.
Speaking exclusively to The Times, Dr. Neal ElAttrache said Sunday that Bryant's competitive drive and mental toughness will give him an edge in recovering from an injury that figures to sideline him at least six to nine months.
“I can point to all of the scientific aspects of the repair, but just as important if not more important is, who is that Achilles attached to?” said ElAttrache, who performed the hour-long surgery Saturday. “In this situation, it's attached to Kobe Bryant, who has figured out a way to get through some injuries that would ordinarily be career-threatening. Some of the things he's had go on with him have ended guys' careers in the NBA.
“He's figured out a way to get through it and be one of the best players in the NBA.”
The surgery always looks good immediately after; it's only later when complications arrive. But everything is on the right path, and Bryant seems resolved to attack this process as only he can. He has no other choice.
Grover told our own Ken Berger of CBSSports.com this weekend:
Grover spoke with Bryant on Friday night after the injury, and as of then, he said his star pupil was all in -- “fully on board” with waging this fight. But the road will be long, slow and grueling. Full recovery will not take kindly to Bryant's insistence on pushing through pain, ignoring normal human timetables and doing the impossible. His sewn-together tendon will be a lot tougher than those who allowed him to push himself to such incredible limits over these past few weeks.
“We'll have to see,” Grover said. “It's not an easy process. It's not an impossible process; it's been done many times before, and I believe he can be as well as he was before. But it's definitely a long, tedious process.”
But if anyone's ready for the long and tedious process, it's Bryant.