Last month, Kobe Bryant started shooting for the first time since surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff prematurely ended his season. Last week, Mitch Kupchak updated us that Kobe was on track to be ready for the start of training camp.
Bryant’s recovery from his latest devastating late-career injury, a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, is complete—and he currently has no physical limitations as he gears up for what he expects will be his final NBA season.
Bryant has been medically cleared for all basketball activities, according to league sources.
Though, via the previous updates mentioned, this was totally expected it does not make the news any less important. Kobe’s health has been the major storyline over the past three seasons and to finally have him back healthy is a plus for a team looking to make more noise than anyone really thinks they can.
Any success this team has will be, in a major way, still influenced by how well #24 can play and lead a team that has been constructed, at least partially, around him and what he can still provide. Add to the equation this potentially being his final season and the combination of hope with nostalgia brew a potent cocktail Lakers’ fans are ready to throw down.
The questions about what Kobe will be able to provide and whether he can remain healthy will always be present this season, but, at least for now, he’s back and ready to go. Camp can’t get here soon enough.