Mamba takes part in practice on Tuesday along with Nash.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has revealed that guard Kobe Bryant has taken a “big step” as he looks to return to action this week.
The 35-year-old hasn’t played since rupturing his Achilles eight months ago, but after months of rehabilitation he scrimmaged for 30-45 minutes during practice on Tuesday.
The Lakers face the Sacramento Kings on Friday, but while D’Antoni admitted that he has been left feeling optimistic regarding Bryant’s current condition, he wouldn’t reveal whether or not he is expected to play.
“Today was a good day. We’ll see tomorrow how he reacts and everything, but today was a big step forward,” he told ESPN
“He’s Kobe. Practice is going to be different for him than the game, but he controls the game and I didn’t see anything he couldn’t do.”
While Bryant primarily worked with the first unit during practice, the media did pick up on the fact that he didn’t attempt a single shot during the 10 minutes that reporters were allowed to watch.
Instead, the veteran star played a facilitator role and it remains to be seen whether or not he is asked to adopt that influential role within the team moving forward this season.
Meanwhile, the Lakers were also buoyed by the return of Steve Nash after his week in Canada as he looks to overcome on-going back issues.
Nash has missed the last 10 games and admitted that he is unlikely to return this week, while Jordan Farmar has also been sidelined with a hamstring injury which looks set to keep him out for between four to six weeks.
Nevertheless, the anticipation continues to grow regarding Bryant’s comeback, and provided that he doesn’t suffer any setbacks over the course of the week he is widely expected to return against the Kings on Friday.