Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant started the first steps of his intense six-month training program with a workout on Monday, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Bryant had received medical clearance last week to resume running and basketball activities. The 18-year veteran was limited to playing in just six games this season due a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee that came just nine days after returning from a torn left Achilles tendon that sidelined him for over eight months. Although Bryant had been ruled out for the season in mid-March he has continued to increase his workload in his rehab from the injury.
Along with the increased activity in his recovery, Bryant also got encouraging feedback from his visit last week with the clinic in Germany where he had platelet-rich plasma treatment performed on his right knee a couple of seasons ago. The doctors at the hospital checked the structure stability of his left knee prior to his start of the six-month rigorous training regimen.
Bryant had stated at his March 12 press conference that an extended offseason will give him a sufficient amount of time to get his body right for next season.
“When you have seven months to prepare, you certainly have time to ramp things up quite a bit and put a significant amount of (work)load on your body.”‘ Bryant said. “Then you can see how your body reacts and you can adjust to it. (It also) gives you a chance to mimic the workload of the regular season, where a regular summer of two or three months of training you can’t do that.”
After Bryant had been ruled out for the season, he was noticeably absent from team for the last month and a half as he was focused on his rehab and also took a short family vacation towards the end of the year. This has been perceived negatively by many as him not visibly showing his support for the team as they finished up the worst season in the Lakers 66-year history. As for Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, Bryant’s absence was not a big deal to the team.
“First of all, I did not know he was leaving town. Second of all, I think it’s a bigger story to everybody here than it really is to us,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said of Bryant’s trip at exit meetings on Friday. “We had a tough year. Kobe’s had a really tough two years. He’s had two career-threatening injuries. He’s had to live through the season that we had to live through together. This is his 18th year in the NBA. Although I haven’t spoken to him in the last day or two, I understand leaving town he is going to see his medical consultant in Europe. So, all things considered, to me, it’s not that big of a deal
Nonetheless, as Bryant continues to ramps up his workload, it is an encouraging sign for his availability next season as he is targeting to be ready by the start of training camp in October.
Photo Credit: Noah Graham/Getty Images
Bob Garcia IV
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