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Kobe Bryant says rehab “progressing slowly”

Mar 11, 2014, 4:43 PM EDT

kobe all-star NOLA

It’s been clear for a while that Kobe Bryant was done for the season.

The Lakers would not say that publicly for the same reason the Bulls would not say Derrick Rose would not come back last playoffs when we all knew he wouldn’t. They don’t want to anger their star player, and if fans want to hope you don’t want to rip that away from them. But the time for Kobe to return to the Lakers and make a difference is well in the rear view mirror now.

In his latest interview, with, Kobe reiterates what he has said before — that he is frustrated riding the stationary bike but his knee fracture is not healing fast and that’s all he is left with. Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News has the translation and an update.

“It’s progressing slowly. It really tests my patience,” Bryant said in a recent interview with Jacques Slade from that mostly centered on his work with Nike. ”There’s only so much I can do. I find myself relegated to a bike. The first few weeks, it’s cool. I’m getting a good workout in. Third or fourth, I’m thinking I need to do something else. I want to play. I want to run. I want to do something different. But you got to do what you got to do.”

The Lakers plan to reevaluate Bryant on Friday, perhaps giving him medical clearance to advance his rehab beyond stationary bike exercises. But the Lakers anticipate Bryant would need a couple of weeks to progress fully toward full-court practices. Add the days up, and Bryant could return as early as the beginning of April, but that presumes he doesn’t experience any setbacks.

Let’s take the most optimistic scenario from that list: Kobe Bryant gets medical clearance on Friday then for two weeks works out and practices, ready to return March 28, that means he could take part in the Lakers last dozen games of the season.

What is the point?

Even if he could get back Kobe should take the rest of this season off. For the next two years as they rebuild the roster the Lakers are going to sell Kobe — they signed him to a two-year, $48 million extension because he is going to sell out the expensive courtside seats, fill the luxury boxes, get the season ticket holders to renew, keep the television ratings up and bring in the sponsors. Other rebuilding teams sell hope, the Lakers will sell Kobe.

Better to have him come back fully healthy next fall for that run, no reason to push him back for meaningless games this season (that the Lakers should want to lose anyway). If he even can, it sounds still like he is a ways to go.

But nothing will be official for a while.

  1. spthegr8 - Mar 11, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    Good article Kurt. Bringing him back this year would be pointless. No reward and it’s HIGH risk.

  2. pbtunpaidwriter - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Jodie Meeks wants Kobe’s spot in the starting lineup!

    • spthegr8 - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      ^^^^ He better hire a hitman then.!! ^^^^

      • spursareold - Mar 11, 2014 at 6:20 PM

        Jeff Gilooly, tbh. He has experience whacking knees.

  3. beach305 - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    I guess Dwight, needs to show Kobe, what it takes to win.

    • sportsfan18 - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      Dwight will win a title before Kobe does again…

    • money2long - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:54 PM

      Win what

  4. thomaskouns - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    A lot of retired players have said that it would be much harder for KB to come back from both injuries (players often injure another part of the body even after the original injury has mostly healed as they are compensating for lingering weakness/problems) but the media & Kobe kept selling/hyping stories on his invincibility.

    • sportsfan18 - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:13 PM

      Yep. But, before all this, Kobe had always played through pain, come back quickly etc..

      But, Father Time is undefeated and he has a lot of NBA miles on his tread.

      So, we are now seeing Kobe heal differently from injuries and we will also see him come back as a much different player due to age, mileage and his injuries…

      It is Not

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        sorry, fubar

        It is not a knock against Kobe, just that Father Time is undefeated and even Kobe had to succumb to him in time.

      • blackman24 - Mar 11, 2014 at 9:04 PM

        I’m a Laker fan and I don’t think he is hurt at all. Why risk him coming back when the season was lost months ago? I think the FO told him to sit out and see what happens in the summer, he will come back fresher next year and play out the last 2 years of his contract.

  5. shuttaman1990 - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Good, no need to play for that bum D’antoni. Even if he’s 100% No no no. D’antoni goneeeee

    Lakers all day.

    • cantonbound13 - Mar 11, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      Don’t you mean lottery all day?

  6. sportsnut101 - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    lakers should of amestied him how long u gotta kiss his ass two more yrs ugh of kobe

  7. jimsjam33 - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    How similar to a player named Andrew Bynum ! Take your 24 million a year and run Kobe .

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