Sports Out West

Kobe Bryant Achilles’ injury: Lakers star has foot on the ground

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Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant is now off crutches and is able to put weight on his left foot after suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon in April.

The injury instantly ended his season, and even has his status for the beginning of 2013-14 in question. But smart money says that Bryant defies odds as he has his entire career and makes his debut come the opening tipoff (i.e. the “pray for the bear” hash tag). He is already showing progress, and has demonstrated nothing but a positive outlook with respect to what used to be a career-threatening injury.

Modern medicine is only accentuating his progress.

Bryant is wired differently than most, and his drive will fuel him to come back and at the very least, be an effective player. The Lakers will need that production from him coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history. Bryant’s injury came at a critical juncture at the end of the regular season as L.A. was fighting to make the playoffs. After he went down, the team rallied around one another and managed to string together wins against the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets to grab the No. 7 seed.

After that, the Lakers lost in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, 4-0 to the Spurs, and were overmatched and undermanned without Bryant and Steve Nash.

Though things look bleak in Laker-land, Bryant’s optimism gives the squad a glimmer of hope for the immediate future.

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.