The superstar guard gave us great optimism when he confidently jumped into a pool from 40-plus feet above the ground last month. However, we are now just 36 days away before the Los Angeles Lakers play their first game of the season, and there is still no concrete news on when Bryant will resume basketball activities. The only thing we know at this point is that he is still a “few weeks away” from being able to run without any limitations, meaning he is not anywhere near caught up to speed in terms of basketball activities. Team trainer Gary Vitti explained the situation to the best of his knowledge, from Mark Medina of Daily News:
Los Angeles Lakers trainer Gary Vitti explained “This guy hasn’t had a lot of time off over the last few years,” Vitti said of Bryant, who had competed in two Olympics and in three NBA Finals appearances in recent seasons. “To attribute it to a certain number of games where he played more minutes is being short-sighted.”
He estimated Bryant remains a “few weeks away” before advancing to full-weight bearing running and then basketball-related activities. Vitti also said “there’s no projected date” on whether Bryant will play in the Lakers’ season opener Oct. 29 against the Clippers or in any of the team’s eight exhibition games through Oct. 25.
“I thought he was going to be worse with pushing, pushing, pushing,” Vitti said of Bryant. “But he’s been very, very smart about the entire process.”
Bryant jumped off a 40-foot high dive, something he soon posted on Vine, a social media video player.
“I wasn’t real happy with it,” Vitti said.
We all know how driven Bryant is and how eager he is to prove everyone wrong about what this devastating Achilles heel injury is supposed to do to his career. His doctor was confident enough to say that Bryant should be suiting up from the get-go, and it’s not out of the question that it could still happen. Still, rushing just to begin the season shouldn’t be in the best interest of the guard nor the team. At this point, it’s clear that a point has already been made about the injury: he has shattered the record for recovery time from such an injury, and his career is nowhere near over. Now, the task in hand is to make sure that he can absolutely be himself without limitations and to be in great basketball shape – which doesn’t happen overnight – before he suits up, even if it means he, perhaps, misses the first month of the season. Either way, it’s a great relief to know that he has yet to suffer a single setback on his path to recovery.
Onto other news from around the league:
- Are the Pistons too crowded at the forward and guard positions? Perry A. Farrell of Detroit Free Press takes a look: “If the Pistons plan on being dealers before the February 2014 trade deadline, they have a glut of small forwards and guards to possibly offer, if that’s team president Joe Dumars’ plan…. Smith is expected to start at small forward and also see time at power forward. Also on the roster are Kyle Singler, Jonas Jerebko and rookie Luigi Datome, who made a splash overseas with his shot-making ability and athleticism. That’s four small forwards, and there aren’t enough minutes to play them all. Singler played out of position at shooting guard during parts of his rookie season, but currently the backcourt is overloaded. Jerebko could see some time at power forward to loosen the logjam if coach Maurice Cheeks wanted to go in that direction. At point guard there’s Chauncey Billups, Brandon Jennings, Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey. The team also signed rookie point guard Peyton Siva, who was drafted in the second round.”