It’s up to Kobe Bryant now. Bryant has full medical clearance, I was told Sunday by someone in a position to have such knowledge—meaning he can do anything and everything without restriction as the recovery from his ruptured left Achilles tendon nears its conclusion. Lakers coaches and basketball operations staff are all content to wait for Bryant to decide in his own mind when he’s ready to resume one of the greatest careers in basketball history after one of the worst injuries that can befall any basketball player. Dec. 6 at Sacramento? Earlier? Later? It’s Bryant’s call, but what is certain is he can now push himself as far as he wants in his first full-speed practices of the season beginning Tuesday. After so many recent days of running but no sprinting or sprinting but no cutting or this but not that, Bryant has been freed even for five-on-five contact scrimmaging whenever he so chooses. Even with full clearance, though, Bryant is not expected to jump right back into game action Friday night against Golden State or even the next week of Thanksgiving. Bryant wants to test his ankle joint and see how it responds, which he will get to on an initial basis with full-scale team practices set for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. In testing himself, Bryant intends to be thorough. That’s why he surprised teammates by how driven he was in that team workout on a quiet Saturday meant to be a light day in the gym for the Lakers. Said teammate Jordan Hill, “I thought he wasn’t going to go that hard, but he was really pushing it.” The reason Bryant was able to appear in Lakers team practice Saturday—albeit in a very limited capacity, with players doing less-than-full-speed drills against no defense—was because any and all restrictions on his activity had been lifted.
Kobe Fully Cleared for Basketball Activities
Bleacher Report | Nov 18