Kobe Bryant during Wednesday morning’s practice took another step forward in his recovery from Achilles surgery by taking shots on the court.
Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni noted that the 17-year veteran for the first time since his operation began individual shooting on the court.
“I saw him shoot the ball today for the first time,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t know if that is the first time, but it’s the first time I saw him. So, that’s a progression. I’m not in the training room to see what he does everyday but obviously as hard as he worked, every day he is going to get better. What means I don’t know.”
Bryant for the past month and half has been running on the altered-gravity treadmill and his progression to jogging and shooting on the court is a positive sign that he is coming along well.
“He just keeps progressing,” D’Antoni said. “He was out today shooting a little bit and jogging but keeps getting better. He was going more on his tip-t0es and I don’t think he was jumping but it wasn’t flat-footed. It was set shooting.”
With the Lakers organization continuing on Wednesday to stray away from providing a timetable for Bryant’s return, it adds to the uncertainty around the team with Pau Gasol and Steve Nash still recovering from their respective injuries.
If Bryant were not to be ready by the start of the regular season, Nick Young knows that he and along with his teammates will have to pick up the slack but when the 35-year-old d0es indeed make his return Young expects there to be much change.
“When Kobe comes back, a lot of things are going to change. ” Young said. “You just have to pick your spots now and try to get comfortable with the position you’re in.”
Young has also tried to provide some extra motivation for Bryant to make a faster recovery by engaging in some trash talk with the 15-time All-Star.
“I have been talking trash to him to get out there,” Young said. “I am just waiting for him to get out there se we can go at it. I have to talk trash now because he can’t do anything.”
Bryant’s absence on the court during practice for Gasol has provided a different vibe to this year’s training camp, but ultimately he wants his teammate to return when he feels that he is ready to do so.
“It is definitely different,” Gasol said. “He is around but he is not involved. I know he can’t wait to get back on the court and be with us. We will be ready when comes back. We just want him to be ready without any setbacks.”
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