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Kobe Bryant says he could play now if this were the playoffs

Oct 14, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant AP

There’s still no timetable for his return, but for Kobe Bryant fans — and for the Lakers playoff hopes — Monday in China was a good day.

Kobe said he was very close to practicing on the court with the team.

After suggesting he would practice, Kobe ran around the concourse of the arena in China Monday where the rest of the Lakers did practice in preparation for a preseason game. Kobe did say that if this were the playoffs he could be out there, speaking with Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report.

“if today was a playoff or NBA Finals [game], could I play? Probably….

“I haven’t had any pain or any soreness whatsoever. It’s kind of a flexibility thing, and getting the range of motion back—feel like you can bend without having to lift the heel up. After months of the tendon being compressed, now you have to work to stretch it out a little bit.”

Just a reminder that this is Kobe Bryant and you’re human laws of recovery or physics do not apply to him.

Will he really be ready to go in 15 days for the Lakers opener against the Clippers? Who knows? It feels like a “no,” that is too soon, but again your laws of recovery do not apply to Kobe.

There is no doubt the Lakers need him. Frankly, they need vintage Kobe to make the playoffs in a deep Western Conference.

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