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The Black Mamba isn’t ready to make a return to the court just yet.
It was thought that Kobe Bryant would be examined by Lakers doctors today, though the five-time NBA champion is still experiencing pain and swelling in his fractured left knee, meaning his return date is still unclear.
Bryant will not have an MRI scan in the immediate future, according to the Lakers.
Before Sunday night’s All-Star Game, Bryant admitted that the recovery was “coming slowly,” though he was optimistic about seeing improvements soon.
However, despite all the setbacks, Kobe still intends to play again this season. It’s unclear how long it’s going to be until he’s ready to step back on the court, though, and Phil Jackson said last month a return too late in the year may be pointless for the 17-year veteran.
“If he comes back in April, no. How many games do you play in April? 12? Then it’s not realistic,” Jackson said during an interview with Fox Sports. “But if it’s somewhere in the middle of February, March, I think he’ll want to come back and get to that level again, and the only way you get to that level is to play ball against those kind of guys. It doesn’t happen on a playground or during the summer.”
Seeing as Bryant is still experiencing problems with the knee and can’t yet do weight-bearing exercises, you’d guess that he won’t be able to make a return until March at the earliest seeing as he’d most likely need a good week or two of practice before playing in an actual game.
Will there come a point where Bryant just decides to shut it down for the season, or will he push his body even if it means only playing in a few games?
The Lakers’ final regular season game is scheduled for April 16 in San Antonio.