At preseason media availability Wednesday, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told reporters that while Kobe Byant is progressing in his recovery from surgery on his Achilles tendon, there's no timeline for his return.
Mitch on Kobe: "No real expectations. I do believe he'll get back and he'll play this season ... You won't be able to tell (he was hurt)"— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) September 25, 2013
Mitch Kupchak does not sound like someone who expects to have Kobe Bryant in the lineup on opening night— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) September 25, 2013
Mitch Kupchak on when Kobe will return: "There is no timeline"— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) September 25, 2013
Mitch Kupchak on Kobe: "He intends to retire a Laker. ... We feel the same way."— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) September 25, 2013
This goes hand in hand with the Lakers' trainer Gary Vitti saying earlier this week that Bryant is "weeks away" from even running under his own weight and that has to come before he resumes basketball activities. It's looking more and more like Bryant will miss the start of the season, but with a month to go and Bryant's notoriously obsessive work ethic, you still can't count him out yet.
The good news is that regardless of that first game againt the Clippers on October 29th, it does sound like Bryant will be back relatively close to the start of the season. A return before December seems at least possible, if no probable, at this point.