Kobe Bryant is coming into this season in much better health than he did in 2010-11. Bryant has been dealing with knee injuries for quite some time, but the extended off-season gave him an opportunity to properly address his knee. In an interview with Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports, Kobe talked about the knee surgery he underwent this summer in Germany.
Q: Can you talk about the surgical procedure you underwent on your right knee in Germany this summer and why you had it there?
Bryant: “I’m not a big medicine, techie guy. But I know my knee feels 90 percent better. My understanding was that the guy who invented it … [Germany] is where he’s from and where his home base is. So I didn’t want to go someplace else where he had to move his equipment. If I am going to do it, I want to do it right and do it in the place where he is most comfortable doing it.”
Q: What can you do physically with that knee that you couldn’t do at the end of last season?
Bryant: “Anything I want. I can run. I can jump. I can run the track. I can lift weights the way I want to lift weights. I can practice every day. Those are things I couldn’t do last year.”
Bryant is near full health and everyone in the NBA knows just how effective he can be when at 100%. The Lakers struggled late in the season in 2010-11, and Kobe was not himself in the second round of the playoffs.
Although Kobe has spurts of explosiveness, which was evident in his dunk on Emeka Okafor, there is no doubt that this attribute has slipped these past couple of seasons. Age plays a factor, but his knee problems have caused more trouble in his career than anything else.
Now that Kobe Bryant has stable knees and an extended amount of time to prepare for the 2011-12 season, expect to see the Black Mamba shine once the season tips-off.