Jim Buss thinks Kobe Bryant will be ready at start of season
Jim Buss infrequently gives interviews, but the Los Angeles Lakers executive sat down with NBA TV during a Lakers Summer League game in Las Vegas on Thursday and provided an update on the status of Kobe Bryant.
Buss said that Bryant is well ahead of schedule in his rehab from a torn Achilles’ tendon, which was sustained on April 13. In fact, Buss says he expects the franchise icon to be back for the preseason.
“Well, we’re in Vegas, so I would bet a lot of money that [Kobe Bryant] comes back probably preseason,” Buss told NBA TV’s Rick Kamla. “He’s real sharp in taking care of himself, and he’s not going to rush anything just to get back to prove a point. He’s going to come back when he’s right, and he’s a machine. He’s inhuman that way.
“I see him coming back at the beginning of the season. I can’t believe how much he’s progressed so far,” Buss said of Bryant.
Kobe has a history of returning from injuries much earlier than expected. Last season he sprained his ankle in March and was expected to miss a few weeks, but he played in the team’s next game (albeit for only a dozen minutes before leaving and missing the next two games). In 2008, Bryant was advised to have surgery after tearing a ligament in his pinkie finger. The surgery would have kept him out multiple weeks. He bypassed the operation and played through the injury without missing a game.
Bryant is a notoriously fast healer who is impervious to pain. If the man were not ahead of schedule in his rehab from the Achilles tear — which can often take up to a year to heal — then we might have been surprised.