Mamba still recovering from Achilles injury suffered last season.
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant could miss his team’s entire pre-season schedule as he continues his rehabilitation from a ruptured Achilles.
The 35-year-old suffered the injury back on April 12 against the Golden State Warriors ahead of the Western Conference playoffs.
With the initial timetable for his recovery set to give him between at least six to nine months to make a full comeback, early reports claimed that Bryant was way ahead of schedule and could possibly return for training camp and pre-season.
However, those hopes have been dampened slightly as it is understood that although he has not suffered any setbacks and is continuing his rehabilitation work, there still much more to be done before Bryant is fit to make a return.
“He’s progressing well and has met all the targets and milestones of his rehab, and we expect him to make a full recovery,” Lakers spokesman John Black told The Los Angeles Times on Monday.
“One of the key issues is to make sure he builds up strength and endurance not only in his Achilles but also in his legs, knees, back and core,” he added.
There is still an optimistic suggestion that Bryant could return to play in the two exhibition games in China at the end of next month, but it is more likely he will target the start of the regular season as he looks to the next stage of rehab which would involve him running with full weight on his legs.
Both the Lakers and Bryant will also be keen to not rush back into action only to re-aggravate the injury, and with the NBA veteran still working his way back to fitness it could be that he decides to sit out the pre-season schedule entirely.