After an eight-month absence, Kobe Bryant returned to the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night against the visiting Toronto Raptors. The crowd immediately embraced Bryant the second the superstar ran onto the floor in his warmups, but struggled to produce much of anything in a less than stellar performance.
Following the loss to the Raptors, Bryant talked to the media about his play on the floor and the condition of his surgically repaired Achilles. Bryant said the following about his Achilles according Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters via Twitter:
"My tendon feels completely fine." – Kobe
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 9, 2013
With eight turnovers and only nine points on the night, Bryant was clearly rusty in his return to the floor. Despite showing the rust in his return after eight months of rehab, Bryant feeling good after testing his Achilles against an opposing team is a good sign to say the least.
It comes as no surprise Bryant would be rusty in his first game and would need time to mesh with his squad filled with new faces. It may be only a matter of time before the superstar of old emerges on the court, but for now it’s abundantly clear that more time is needed for the future Hall of Famer to get back to his dominant form.
In 28 minutes on the floor, Bryant scored nine points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists to go along with two steals. Unfortunately, Bryant’s eight turnovers is the only stat that sticks out and will be something the superstar will attempt to correct before heading into the matchup with the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night at the Staples Center.
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