Monday , Jul , 01 , 2013 Matt Formica

Kobe Bryant injury update: “feeling really strong”, back shooting in the gym

Laker Nation can finally enjoy some good news for once:  Kobe Bryant is shooting again.

Hoopsvibe's quick call:  The Lakers need a healthy Mamba back asap.

L.A. Lakers at the Dallas Mavericks

It seems like all we ever hear or read about the Los Angeles Lakers these days has to do with whether or not Dwight Howard is going to leave the team before the start of the 2013-14 NBA season.  And even though the "Dwightmare" isn't over, LA fans (who Howard proclaimed to be the 'most unappreciative' fans around) can focus on something positive to start a new week and month: the beginning of Kobe's return.

Bryant posted a picture to his Instagram account over the weekend of him taking a shot from the free-throw line at the Lakers practice facility in Southern California.  The photo contained the caption:  "#showUagain 6-30-13."

Bryant suffered a torn achilles on April 12th in game against the Warriors; an injury that was said to require between six and nine months of recovery.  And while Kobe, being the fierce competitor that he is, hopes to be fully recovered and back in action by the start of the season in October, there's a good chance he won't be back playing at full strength until November or December.  Either way, Lakers fans can celebrate the fact that Kobe is feeling better and already back in the gym.

"It's feeling really strong," KB said in an interview with  "I can walk without a limp.  I can go up the stairs and just stand on my toe, which shows a lot of strength in the tendon."

Love him or hate him, Kobe's a tough dude.  He's played through a lot of injuries over the course of his 17-year career and has a unique ability to perform at a high level despite not being 100% physically.  He also understands how to manage the recovery process in a way that will be the most beneficial to his team.

"I can adjust my game," he admitted.  "That's why I can play through injuries, swollen ankles or a loss of speed … If you have to play a slower game, you play a slower game.  If you have to post up more, you post up more.  If the explosiveness and the speed is there, then it's there and you use it in moderation."

I have no doubt that Kobe will be back playing at a high level this season, it's just a matter of when.  One thing that has to be in the back of Kobe's mind is chasing Michael Jordan on the most points all-time list.  Kobe is just 675 points shy of tying MJ for third all-time on the list and has only scored less than 675 points in a given season once in his career; and that was his rookie year.

Talk about motivation for a healthy recovery.

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