The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to keep center Dwight Howard on the team for the 2013-14 season and beyond, but whether they retain him or not, they’ll also depend largely on a speedy recovery for franchise shooting guard, Kobe Bryant. So far, not so good.
Per Bryant himself, his recovery from a torn Achilles is likely to take until at least December, which would be smack dab in the middle of the projected 6-9 month recovery timetable. Bryant had previously been optimistic about being ready for the start of the new NBA season in October, but is now apparently setting a more realistic return date for late November or possibly early December.
Bryant is already “fully mobile” but hasn’t begun running yet and faces a long, uphill rehab path if he wants to make it back in time for the start of the season. And even if he is back by December or earlier, he faces the likelihood of not being the elite player he was just this past season.
Turning 35 in August, Bryant still plans to play at least two more seasons, and has always said he only wants to continue playing if he can play at the high level he’s accustomed to. For that reason exactly is why he’s likely aiming for two more seasons, as he isn’t likely to play at the same level for all of the 2013-14 season.