Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 at 9:30 am  |  6 responses

Kobe Bryant Making ‘Progress’, Still Not Ready to Play

Kobe Bryant’s inflammed left shin is slowly coming along, according to his coach, but there’s no telling when the Lakers’ superstar will suit up again. From the LA Daily News: “Kobe Bryant couldn’t play Tuesday against the San Antonio Spurs, sitting out for the sixth consecutive game because of an injured left shin. ‘Most likely,’ he won’t play tonight against the Golden State Warriors either, according to coach Mike Brown. Bryant shot baskets with assistant coach Phil Handy playing light defense against him during the Lakers’ morning shootaround in El Segundo. Bryant hasn’t starting running, the next step in his eventual return to the starting lineup. With the Lakers holding a slim lead over the Clippers in the battle for third place in the Western Conference and boasting a 4-1 record without Bryant going into Tuesday, there didn’t seem to be any sense of urgency to bring him back quickly. Plus, there’s been an added bonus to Bryant’s absence. ‘It’s good to see other guys go out there and step up, especially in tight games,’ Brown said. ‘You get guys making plays at both ends of the floor. Usually, it’s Kobe because he’s so used to doing it. It’s been fun to see other guys figure it out.’ [...] The Lakers have only four regular-season games remaining, including tonight against the Warriors in Oakland. ‘It’s just a guessing game,’ Brown said. ‘We could say it’s three. We could say it’s zero. We could say it’s one. It’s just a guessing game. I don’t think there’s an exact science to it. – He can fit in seamlessly with any group of guys, in my opinion. We’re taking our time with it. We want to make sure it’s right. We’ve seen the progress he’s made and we’re happy about the progress he’s made. It’s just a matter of us wanting to be cautious about it and making sure he’s back at full strength.’”

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  • Pais

    Uh oh, Lakers don’t want to head into post season with identity issues, the west is tough enough as it is. It’s been great to see the other guys stepping it up recently, but a few games with Kobe back on the floor would’ve been greatly beneficial. Mainly to see if they could keep it up while having the Mamba find a way to adjust his game so as to not serve as a detriment to the rest of the teams progress. I don’t doubt Kobe’s ability to adjust and I think his faith in everyones ability has to have improved given their recent track record.

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com Off The Backboard

    One thing to keep in mind is that usually when Kobe is injured for an extended period of time, he adjusts to the way his team is playing pretty well when he returns. An example that comes to mind is the 2000-2001 season, when he was out for something like 12 games with an ankle injury (I believe). Shaq wrote about it in his book as well, and Kobe’s talked about it before. Essentially, Kobe was hogging the ball before his injury, but after his injury, he saw guys on the roster step up, and the Lakers were winning, so by the time he returned, he decided to assimilate more within the group and play to its strengths rather than play for his own glory. The result was a 19 game winning streak extending into the post-season and a 15-1 record in the playoffs en route to a championship. Granted, he’s not as aloof as he was then and is a lot more mature now, but the point is that Kobe will adjust when he returns for the good of the team. He’s been really supportive of Bynum’s emergence, so I don’t expect that to stop just because it is the postseason.

  • KG

    I still dont understand HOW this injury happened even though I was watching that game where it happened a few weeks ago. It was something like halftime starts, hes fine and then when halftime ends some report that some assistant kicked him in the shin and he limps all over the place?

    Is that correct? ^^^

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    OTB with some more good stuff.

  • lakernation

    ^^I cosign lakeshow^^ good post OTB

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    OTB with a great post. It kinda makes me a little more optimistic.