“The surgical procedure was different […] and because of that the recovery has been different,” Bryant said in the southern city of Shenzhen. “The normal timetable for recovery from an Achilles, we've shattered that. Three-and-a-half months I can already walk just fine, I'm lifting weights with the Achilles just fine and that's different. So we don't know what that timetable is going to be. It's kind of new territory for us all.”'
Look, I'm just going to say it.
I think he's back for opening night. I understand an Achilles tear is different from every other injury he's suffered. I understand he's well past the point when players recover from injuries like this. And I get he is human, technically, after all.
But at some point you've been doing this long enough that you realize Kobe Bryan is only human technically. For better or worse, and there are drawbacks, Bryant is willing to go beyond what every other person is willing to in pursuit of being great at his job. He's willing to go though physical, mental, and emotional barriers to reach what greatness means to him.
Bryant has never understood how to cross barriers with a team, how to get around obstacles that live in the group environment. But individual challenges, like recovery from an injury? That's something he can conquer. That's what he lives to face.
And he's well on his way to starting on opening night. Maybe he won't. But if you ask me, right now, I'll tell you I feel confident Kobe Bryant will have his name called in the Lakers' first game of the season.
That's just who he is.