We're that much closer to seeing one of the greatest players in NBA history return to the court after a severe Achilles tendon injury. Kobe Bryant returned to practice on Saturday, participating in 5-on-0 drills to the delight of his Los Angeles Lakers teammates and fans around the world. However, he could have just practiced because he decided he wanted to. That would be a very defiant Kobe thing to do.
The good news for the Lakers is he has been medically cleared to fully return to the team. He can resume all basketball activities and doesn't have any restrictions moving forward with the rehab process from his injury. From Lakers.com:
The Lakers got some good news over the weekend: Kobe Bryant has been fully medically cleared to resume all basketball activities.
As reported by Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding, Bryant has no restrictions on his continued progress in his rehabilitation from the torn left Achilles tendon suffered seven months ago.
Bryant made his much-anticipated return to practice on Saturday, where he went through 5-on-0 drills and did some half court drills with his teammates.
"He looked real good," said Jordan Hill of Bryant at practice after his own career-high game against Detroit. "He was going real hard. I thought he wasn't going to be able to go that hard but he was really pushing it. And, I know he's not ready yet but he's coming along and he should be ready pretty soon."
It's still not known when he could return to a game but if he's able to get a few practices in this week, the Lakers don't play again until Friday when they host the Golden State Warriors for a nationally televised game. The Lakers last played on Sunday when they beat the Detroit Pistons 114-99.
With Bryant being fully cleared and having no restrictions, you can assume he'll be back to a game fairly soon. It would seem likely that he'd want to return in front of the home Lakers crowd that has supported him and showered him with MVP chants over the past 17 years. Other than Friday's game against the Warriors, the Lakers have another home game on Sunday when the Sacramento Kings come to town. After that, the Lakers are on the road for three games until they get back December 1.