Uncertainty remains over Bryant's return from injury

Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:43pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Of all the uncertainties facing the Los Angeles Lakers as they prepare for their season opener later this month against the Clippers the biggest is the timetable for Kobe Bryant's comeback from injury.

The 15-time All-Star shooting guard has been sidelined since mid-April with a torn left Achilles' tendon and only recently returned from Germany where he had an innovative procedure on his arthritic right knee.

While Lakers fans would dearly love to know when they can expect to see their most influential player back in action, Bryant himself is unfazed about the exact timing of his return.

"I just keep it all open right now," the 35-year-old told reporters earlier this week when asked whether he could be back for his team's season opener at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles on October 29.

"I don't know why you guys are so hell bent on timelines. When I'm ready, I'm ready."

Bryant, known throughout his career for his determination to play through pain and various other setbacks, said he was treating his recovery from Achilles' surgery as a marathon, and not as a sprint.

"That's how I approached this injury and how we approached this injury from the beginning," he explained. "It's a marathon. You just have to get up and punch the clock every day, and continue to chip away at it every day.

"I'll be happy when I can get there on the floor and do what I do best. All of this right now is a process to get to that point."   Continued...

Los Angeles Lakers NBA star Kobe Bryant speaks to fans while attending a youth basketball final match in Hong Kong August 3, 2013. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu