Context: About three weeks ago, the Lakers received some shocking news when it was announced that Kobe Bryant will have to miss at least six weeks of playing time after suffering a knee fracture against the Memphis Grizzlies.
After a few weeks removed from the injury, Bryant is supposedly planning his next comeback. While on ESPN Radio 710 in Los Angeles on Friday morning, Mike D’Antoni hinted that Kobe could be returning sooner rather than later.
“Nash and Kobe are going to come back together at the end of the road trip. They’ll get re-evaluated and they could possibly be ready by the end of the road trip.”
We’ve heard other reports saying the team is targeting Jan. 28 as a possible return date, which was mentioned by LA Daily News reporter Mark Medina as well.
This has led us to question whether or not Kobe is rushing back too fast.
Verdict: We took this poll question to Twitter to get the fans take on whether they felt Kobe was rushing back.
I presented the poll question:
Hey Lakers fans, if Kobe were to return on January 28th would that be too soon? Is he rushing back? #LakersDebate
— Ry (@JustRyCole) January 10, 2014
Here are some responses:
@JustRyCole not for my fantasy team… but in realistic terms any date that isnt November 2014 is too soon, whats the point of playing?
— Arty Blackwell (@ArtybeingArty) January 10, 2014
— Me2S (@Me2StheSteen) January 10, 2014
@JustRyCole No, they said he would be out 6 weeks. 6 weeks from his injury will be Jan 30th
— Carlos (@Carleetossss) January 10, 2014
— The Weekend (@tjarrels) January 10, 2014
@JustRyCole I bet he feels he can take them to the postseason despite the 14-22 record.. Confidence is what makes him who he is.
— John Ledesma (@JohnnyNBA) January 10, 2014
At the end of the day, Lakers fans want what is best for Kobe as well as this franchise moving forward.
With that being said, a return on Jan. 28 would lead me to believe that Kobe is pushing himself too hard to return. I understand that the original timetable was at least six weeks (which would coincide with the week of Jan. 28), but because Kobe is fresh off surgery on his Achilles, he has to be more cautious of his body.
Considering the team is struggling and likely unable to reach the playoffs even with a healthy Bryant, it’s possible that Kobe could be taking an unnecessary risk by returning at the end of the month.
It’s clear that he wasn’t himself at the initial return and that was expected. His conditioning was not up to par, and he didn’t have the burst that was necessary for him to be the player we’re accustomed to seeing. The recent knee injury only compounds things, making it evident that he’ll need more than the expected recovery time of someone that hasn’t come off Achilles surgery.
Some would say that the only way Kobe can get himself right is by getting back on the court as soon as possible and getting playing experience. But why not come back in the middle of March and finish the season strong, versus taking the toll of three months of basketball for no reason? He’ll be able to go into the summer refreshed, and be ready to fully turn the corner come next season.
The last thing we want is for Bryant to suffer another injury that will put him out for the rest of the season and potentially even more. Coming back early could lead to that.
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