One day they're going to name an entire rehabilitation process after Kobe Bryant, if they haven't already.
The Black Mamba posted a video of himself running on an anti-gravity treadmill to Instagram much to the delight of Los Angeles Lakers fans and anyone who hopes to see Kobe back on the floor sooner rather than later.
In conjunction with the visual aid, Kobe also took to Twitter, once again displaying his never-say-die attitude:
Whatever else the Mamba mentality entails, it appears to be working.
Only Kobe could go from the victim of a ruptured Achilles, someone who is a question mark not just for next season but also for the rest of his career, to a potential opening-night green light.
Gnaw on that for a quick second.
The Lakers begin their regular season against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, October 29 at 10:30 p.m. ET, a little over six months after Kobe went down. If he's in the lineup, he'll make his debut a mere two-and-a-half hours after the Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose makes his return from a torn ACL seven-plus months after he was cleared to play.
Which isn't meant as a malicious jab at Rose. Rather, it attests to the work Kobe and his doctors have done, as well as the superhuman resolve he obviously possesses.
At this point, I'm just voicing what everyone else is entertaining. The thought of Kobe beginning the season in uniform once seemed irrational. Now I consider it probable, agreeing with ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi and presumably oodles of others:
Nothing about his return is certain, but given what we know about his current state from B/R's Will Carroll, there's no reason to rule an opening-night appearance out.
When will Kobe return from his Achilles injury?
About four months after suffering the initial injury, Kobe is already running and claiming he's shattered the timetable behind his return.
In Mamba-speak, that (roughly) translates to: If the season were to start today, I'd be playing.
That much is a wafer-thin stretch, but an opening-night return no longer seems to be. Not anymore; not now.
The Mamba mentality, and whichever flavor of Mamba juice Kobe is consuming, has struck again.