Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant says he would be healthy enough to play right now if there was a playoff game.
“I feel like I’m ahead of schedule,” Bryant told former teammate Rick Fox in an interview for NBA TV, via ESPNLosAngeles.com. “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, 35, is seven-months into a recovery timeline that was originally set for six to nine months. He has been back at practice working on his shooting this past week as he continues to amp up his rehab from Achilles surgery.
“It’s tough because once I’ve set that as a target then I’m hell-bent at doing it at all costs, even to the detriment of the damn Achilles,” Bryant told NBA TV. “I try to just stay in the moment and really try to listen to my body. The biggest thing is I have not done anything athletically for six months, seven months. You got to get your body back in shape. And doing that, if I was healthy — completely healthy — you have that much time off and get back in shape and your knee is going to ache, your ankle is going to hurt, your back is going to be out. So you got to go through your progressions as you normally would over the course of a summer.”