Mamba making progress as he nears comeback from Achilles injury.
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant could return to action on Friday against the Sacramento Kings according to coach Mike D’Antoni.
D’Antoni conceded that the Portland Trail Blazers game on Sunday would come too soon for the 35-year-old, who has spent the last seven months in rehabilitation after sustaining a ruptured Achilles.
The Lakers have no games between Sunday and Friday, and D’Antoni said that Bryant will use the three practices within that time frame to decide whether or not he is ready to feature.
I don’t want to anticipate anything,” D’Antoni said after practice Saturday, according to ESPN.
“Those are days that he can work and see, re-evaluate how he feels after the three days and then make a decision going forward.
“That doesn’t mean he will play Friday, doesn’t mean he won’t. But that’s the time you just evaluate, and I can’t tell you what type of evaluation that will be.”
D’Antoni was keen to avoid making any guarantees over Bryant, but it is clear that the Lakers legend is nearing a level of fitness that would see him available for selection.
Bryant signed a two-year extension worth $48.5m last week, and has previously told the media that he is ready to re-pay the franchise for their faith in him.
Meanwhile, the Lakers have various other injury issues to be concerned about, with Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill nursing ankle injuries, while Steve Nash is expected to be reassessed this week after spending a week in Canada to rehabilitate his nerve root irritation problem.
Nevertheless, the one that the Lakers fans want to see back on the court is Bryant, and their hero may well be in line to make his long awaited comeback this Friday against the Kings.