After suffering a torn left Achilles tendon, Bryant underwent the knife to repair the wound on April 13.
Expected to miss a minimum of 6-9 months, “Black Mamba” was pictured walking without his boot on June 1.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Bryant, 34, who recently began running on a weight-bearing treadmill. “Stronger than I was. I’m ahead of [my recovery] schedule. I don’t know [whether] that means I’ll start the season – I hope so.”
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, Kobe Bryant will likely “start the season” on the hardwood in “La-La Land.”by