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Kobe says he has “shattered” Achilles recovery timeline

Aug 5, 2013, 1:57 PM EDT

Kobe prepares to throw a basketball to fans while attending a youth basketball final match in Hong Kong Reuters

When you put an obstacle in front of Kobe Bryant you get the best of him.

Which is why he went from talk of retirement and his next challenge to playing a few more years once he ruptured his Achilles late last season — there was a new obstacle to overcome. He had to prove he could come back from this.

The normal timeline for recovery would have Kobe returning around Christmas at the earliest, but he is talking about the start of the season at the end of October. Speaking in China recently where he was on an annual Nike tour to sell shoes, Kobe put it this way as reported by

“The surgical procedure was different […] and because of that the recovery has been different,” Bryant said in the southern city of Shenzhen. “The normal timetable for recovery from an Achilles, we’ve shattered that. Three-and-a-half months I can already walk just fine, I’m lifting weights with the Achilles just fine and that’s different. So we don’t know what that timetable is going to be. It’s kind of new territory for us all.”’

The plan right now is to have Kobe evaluated at the end of August and the doctors will make recommendations from there.

On one hand, this is Kobe and we expect ridiculous recoveries from him. The man is like Monty Python’s Black Knight and will play through broken fingers and other pain. He has the work ethic and discipline to get back on the court as quickly as possible. This injury at this age has ended other players’ careers (Isiah Thomas), but Kobe will get back, even if at age 35 it is inevitable he will have lost a step. Kobe has talked to other athletes who have gone through this and bounced back, such as his friend (and Lakers fan) David Beckham.

But there needs to be caution here as well — setbacks are pretty common in this recovery and can be severe. Honestly, the opening back-to-back the Lakers have against the Clippers and Warriors to open the season is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. If Kobe is looking at the big picture he has to be willing to sacrifice those kinds of games to be good to go in January, February and on into the playoffs (if the Lakers can even make it).

The doctors will make call at the end of the month. No doubt Kobe will push through this as fast as humanly possible. He just can’t go faster than that.

  1. makais - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    go Kobe!

  2. antistratfordian - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:02 PM


    • Kevin S. - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      Let’s assume for a moment that A) you’re correct in implying that Kobe is taking it and B) it actually is helping him heal at a superhuman rate. Why the heck would this be a problem then?! If the drug serves a legitimate medical purpose, then it should be allowable for that purpose.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        Of course, there’s no real evidence that HGH is some kind of magical panacea that heals all ills, but if it did, it should be prescribed for recovery.

      • whereyaat - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        Actually, it was invented to help surgery patients regenerate tissue at a faster rate, because who wants to sit around for 6 months when you could sit around for 6 weeks instead? It would seem to apply perfectly here.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        Alright, let’s allow for it applying to this case and it does allow him to recover faster. Why shouldn’t it be a legitimate part of his recovery?

      • fanofthegame79 - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:36 PM

        This is so right. What I don’t understand is why this stuff can’t be made cheaper and make it more available!!

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        “Actually, it was invented to help surgery patients regenerate tissue at a faster rate”

        It wasn’t “invented”. Growth hormone is something that occurs naturally in your body. It was developed as a prescription drug to help treat growth disorders in children and adults with deficiencies.

    • spthegr8 - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      That stands for ” Hater Go Home” right????

      • money2long - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        haters gon’ hate

      • limonadamas - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:36 PM

        It’s so ironic that antistratfordian is saying this as a Heat fan… Doesn’t anyone else see Lebron’s jawline growing over time?

    • fanofevilempire - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      Kobe has the heart of a horse, that is what he is doing mfers.
      If Kobe had LeBrons body he would have won every year!

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        That’s a good one.

  3. asimonetti88 - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Kobe has one of the greatest competitive drives in sports. I just hope he does not push himself too hard and suffer a setback.

    • fanofevilempire - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      Kobe is the real Superman!

  4. westcoastredbird - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    A shout out to Dr Robert Klapper at Cedars. Dude you nailed it with the timeline and new surgical procedures!

  5. spthegr8 - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    He only has one gear & that is FULL THROTTLE!!! The man probably has the BEST work ethic in the league. Kobe is gonna be back with a VENGEANCE!!! He isn’t gonna be the same player but if their is a will, then their is a way. & Kobe’s will is unmatched. So basically what I’m saying is, The Mamba will be JUST FINE!!!! They call him Vino for a reason!!

    • antistratfordian - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      That’s what she said.

      • spthegr8 - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:53 PM


      • kb2408 - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:15 PM

        So, my awesome comment doesn’t show up and crap like @antistratfordian’s does?!! I see what’s going on here.

    • therealhtj - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      Who da F calls him Vino? He made that crap up and no one, cept you apparently, bought into that whackness.

    • spartanfrommsu - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      He calls himself “Vino”. It be nice if others coined that of him; less poignant when it’s self-congratulatory……

  6. norcalkingsfan - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Recover from major knee surgery, dunk like your 22, and return from blowing up your achilles in amazing time. Human growth hormones are amazing.

    • fanofthegame79 - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:40 PM

      I’m not a fan of Kobe, but more power to him if he used HGH – we should all be using it.

  7. kb2408 - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Love him or hate him, you have to respect his love and respect for the sport. Kobe could’ve retired last season and his legacy as one of the top 10-15 players ever would’ve been secured. He probably works harder now than he did as a rookie. He came into the league as a 17 year old kid and had the confidence in himself to say that he wanted to be better than his idol, MJ. Has he surpassed MJ? Most people would say he hasn’t. However, he has had one of the greatest careers any player in the league’s history has had. I, for one, am grateful that the LAKERS saw enough in a 17 year old, cocky kid to trade a proven veteran for him. Because of that decision my beloved LAKERS are 5 Championship Banners richer and we LAKERS fans worldwide have had the pleasure of watching one of the all time greats for his entire career. It will be a sad day when Kobe retires. I hope that’s not for another 2-3 seasons.

    • fanofthegame79 - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      Don’t forget Shaq. Your beloved Lakers – and Kobe – owe a lot of thanks to Shaq for 3 of those 5 championships to which you’re referring.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        Shaq was a great player! It’s a shame that he and Kobe couldn’t make things work longer, I believe they could have won some more championships together. They were one of the most dynamic duos in the history of the game. Those threepeat teams were really a joy to watch.

  8. joshm5683 - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Personally I believe he is doing some PEDs, probably not HGH but blood therapy wouldn’t surprise me. I know the guy works crazy amounts to stay in shape and stay sharp, its not like PEDs automatically make you good.

    In this case though HGH or PEDs probably aren’t aiding him. A tendon or ligament is different than a muscle. There is limited blood flow to those areas so any PEDs being introduced into the system wouldn’t have a ton of impact.

    I love watching Kobe play and will cherish every moment we see him perform until the end.

  9. misterdreamer119 - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Hes using.

  10. packfaninca - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Work ethic doesn’t make you heal faster

    • kb2408 - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      I beg to differ. Just ask Adrian Peterson.

  11. 00maltliquor - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:20 PM


    • kb2408 - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      Yes, maltliq, the GOAT indeed.

  12. 12444uggg - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Every popular athlete is now guilty of PED use in the court of public opinion, until…their caught!
    I have no clue if #8 is using or not, but some guys are, and the accusations aren’t hard to understand. ACL tear’s traditionally were the end for athletes professional careers.

    • Anoesis - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:17 AM

      “ACL tear’s traditionally were the end for athletes professional careers.”

      Until advanced surgical techniques became available, which has nothing whatsoever to do with drugs.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        Correct. UCL tears used to end careers in baseball until Tommy John, now players come back from UCL tears throwing harder than they did before. Speaking of unnatural ability, taking ligaments from your knee to create fake ones in your elbow?

  13. beavertonsteve - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    I am picturing Kobe drinking stem cells like Christopher Reeve on South Park. If it would get him back on the court for opening tip off I think he might do it.

    • fanofthegame79 - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      Thank you for that imagery!

  14. topdawg4ever - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    The problem here is Kobe. If Kobe had sat out some extra minutes last season, he probably wouldn’t have stressed his body. Coming back too soon from an Achilles tear will really do damage to the ligament. There is no reason for him to rush back. What’s he trying to prove? He doesn’t know when to quit.

  15. nflcrimerankingscom - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    He’s shattered the quantity, variety, and potency of various legal, illegal, and soon to be illegal drugs to accelerate the process. No effing question about it.

  16. m4a188 - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:49 PM


  17. cavemanna - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Que the Kobe haters in 3,2,1…

  18. beardown2489 - Aug 5, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Kobe certainly has trust in modern medicine.

  19. spartanfrommsu - Aug 5, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    “Which is why he went from talk of retirement and his next challenge to playing a few more years once he ruptured his Achilles late last season — there was a new obstacle to overcome. He had to prove he could come back from this.”

    Frankly…its less about him wanting to conquer obstacles and more about his insatiable desire to remain relevant.

    If you chart this megalomaniac’s interviews, he’s went from retiring in 2014, to playing 3-4+ years to even the possibility of playing in Europe. Furthermore, he makes no secret that he wants to get his sixth ring yet hints at there’s no way he’ll take a pay cut after next year. Ironic for a so-called “winner” and self-proclaimed student of NBA history to want to break the bank in the twilight of his career and handicap his team financially in the process, no?

    Sadly, the media and Laker fans feed into this sexual offender’s bi-polarity. Its not even a question of whether he’s a great player (Top 10 NBA, no higher) or one of the best Lakers ever (Top 3 at best, after KAJ & Magic) it’s that he fashions himself as something he can never be (MJ’s equal).

    Personally, it will be fascinating to watch futile attempts to capture MJ and KAJ’s records because that will obviously be the bane of his NBA existence.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      When you’re at the top of your field, very few people want to retire. Look at the business world, how many 80 year old CEOs are there?

  20. dysraw1 - Aug 5, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Hope he doesn’t kill himself, this is a reacurring injury

  21. bowmanj35 - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    sharing docs with AP. and biogenesis pills.

  22. adamsjohn714 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    The real question is what effect will this have on the Lakers season? Let’s assume that he plays at the exact same level as last year. Same minutes, same fg%, rebounds, assists, etc. The team around him has gotten worse. Losing a productive, albeit diminished Howard, and replacing him with a very unproductive Kaman hurts a lot. Losing an OK Metta World Peace and replacing him with a very unproductive Wesley Johnson hurts a lot. Two top contributors are Nash and Gasol, and they’re a year older, and coming off of injury filled seasons. People can argue whether or not Kobe’s selfish, egotistical, a ballhog, bad teammate all they want, but it’s painfully obvious to everyone that Kobe wants to win (even if he doesn’t play as well as he thinks he does). I feel bad for him. This year is going to be rough for the Lakers.

  23. 24thesho - Aug 6, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    “When you put an obstacle in front of Kobe Bryant you get the best of him.” No, actually, you get the best “from” him. When are these people going to learn how to write? Out of the box, it’s wrong.

  24. llcriticll - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    i swear these doc’s could cure cancer… they just choose not to and it’s very upsetting!!!!!

  25. jimispackers - Aug 8, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    STEM CELLS. Unethical in the states but Germany has been known to be more liberal in medical applications. Thank Adolf for many medical advancements. There’s a whiff of HGH in his rehabilitation regiment as well. Other than that, you can attribute the quick recovery to the Bean’s work-ethic.
    Love Jimi.

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