Kobe Bryant returned to Lakers practice today for the first time since tearing his Achilles seven months ago.
With his return are going to be expectations for Bryant to perform like Superman. Bryant put added pressure on himself when he told the media that “if it was a playoff game tonight, I’d play.”
“I feel like I’m ahead of schedule,” Bryant told former teammate Rick Fox in an interview for NBA TV on Friday. “If there was a playoff game tonight, I’d play. I’d play. I don’t know how effective I’d be, but I would play.
“The fadeaway still works, the ballhandling, being able to post. Those are things that I can do right now. But it’s not the playoffs, thank god.”
Bryant has been back on the practice court going through shooting drills during the past week, according to Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni. The attempts have been more of the game-ready, jump-shot variety than the modified set shooting that Bryant was already able to do during training camp.
H/T ESPN L.A.