After suffering a torn left Achilles tendon, the 34-year-old Bryant underwent the knife to repair the wound on April 13.
Expected to miss a minimum of 6-9 months, the 6-foot-6, 205 pound Bryant was pictured walking without his boot on June 1.
“Well, we’re in Vegas, and I would bet a lot of money that this guy comes back probably in preseason,” said Buss, 53, the Lakers’ executive vice president of player personnel.
Playing 38.6 minutes per outing during the 2012-2013 campaign, the 10-time All-NBA First Team selection averaged 27.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists over 78 contests.
Underachieving like few squads in the annals of the association, the Lakers (45-37) would have been one of the biggest embarrassments in sports history without Bryant’s efforts.
Competing in 1,239 games since turning professional in 1996, the 15-time All-Star is graying and worn.
Unfortunately for Bryant and Lakers fans, it’s certainly possible the “Black Mamba” was bit by a fatal athletic injury this past spring.
However, considering the legend’s famed diligence and competitiveness, “I would bet a lot of money that” Kobe Bryant will be on the hardwood by October in “La-La Land.”by