UPDATE: Lakers reporter Mike Trudell confirmed that Bryant returned to practice today and participated in “light” 5-on-0 drills. In other words, this was a non-contact practice for Kobe, which is the norm after seven months away from the game.
It looks like the Black Mamba’s return is getting closer and closer…
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Kobe Bryant returned to practice today:
[pullquote]After seven months of rehabilitating a torn Achilles tendon,Kobe Bryant finally returned to practice with the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Bryant had been gathering momentum with weeks of increased running, shooting and basketball-related activities that culminated with him rejoining the Lakers on the practice court on Saturday morning.
Bryant has made remarkable progress from such serious injury but it’s unclear in how long it’ll take for him to return to play his first game this season. All along, Bryant had hoped he could play his first ballgame within two weeks of his return to practice. Still, his debut will depend on how he progresses in full contact workouts with his team.[/pullquote]
This is obviously a great sign, though it’s worth noting that this likely doesn’t mean that Bryant’s return to the lineup is imminent: Kobe will probably have to go through a few weeks of practice before he can suit up in an NBA game once again. He’ll also have to see how his body responds to getting back on the court. Remember, he hasn’t played basketball for seven months.
Last year, Derrick Rose practiced with the Chicago Bulls but never actually played in a game. However, Bryant and Rose are different players with different mindsets.
Either way, this is still great news for Laker fans.