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Lakers News: Mitch Kupchak doesn’t think Kobe Bryant will return within next two weeks

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The wait for the Black Mamba continues.

With Steve Nash out for at least two weeks, the Lakers could do with Kobe Bryant’s presence on the court as soon as possible.

However, according to Eric Pincus from the L.A. Times, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak doesn’t expect Bryant to make his much anticipated return within the next two weeks:

[pullquote]Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Sunday he does not anticipate that Kobe Bryant will be able to return from his Achilles’ tendon injury within the next two weeks.

“I don’t see that in the next week or two because you’ve got to be on the court. You’ve got to practice. You’ve got to play,” Kupchak, speaking at an event for season-ticket holders, said of the team’s All-Star guard.

Bryant said recently that he’s gotten in two of the three weeks of intense conditioning he needs before considering a return date.

The Lakers undoubtedly will work Bryant slowly back into practice before he sees his first NBA game action since tearing his Achilles’ on April 12 during a win over the Golden State Warriors.[/pullquote]

Hopefully, the combination of Nash’s absence and the Lakers’ current record won’t force Bryant to push it too hard in order to return sooner than he should. I don’t think that Kobe will attempt to rush his rehab, though: he knows that the big picture is the most important thing here.

Despite being in the second week of his three week conditioning plan, Bryant has yet to determine a date for his return to the practice court.

The Lakers’ original timetable for Bryant’s recovery has yet to be updated: the purple and gold originally said Kobe would be out for six to nine months after his Achilles surgery on April 13 of this year.

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