Latest Injury Updates, Return Timetables for Kobe Bryant and LA Lakers

Richard Le@rle1993Contributor IIISeptember 9, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers appears to injure himself against the Golden State Warriors in the third quarter at Staples Center on April 12, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Warriors 118-116. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant

After his gruesome Achilles tendon injury, Kobe Bryant seems like he's back on the mend and recovering at a very brisk pace

By his own admission during an interview with, Bryant's goal continues to be to return by December at the latest. It appears that even if there is some degradation of his athleticism, Bryant is confident that his skills and experience will help him continue to perform at a high level.

Although there is some skepticism regarding whether or not the Black Mamba can perform up to his own lofty standards, he still seems capable of performing surprisingly athletic feats

While recovering in time for opening day may be a stretch at best, seeing the Black Mamba getting back into shape and working on his conditioning is a good sign for optimistic fans. 

Having trainers accompany him around at all times certainly won't hurt the recovery process. The fact that the Black Mamba feels good about the Achilles tendon can only mean good things for a franchise looking to at least be competitive this season. 

Shattering projected recovery times and lifting weights so quickly after surgery indicates that he could return anywhere between training camp itself and early December.


Pau Gasol

Other than Steve Nash, there wasn't a Laker on the roster who was hindered by injuries as much as Pau Gasol was.

Undergoing procedures on both knees in May to remove degenerated tissue, Gasol has recently started to resume on-court activities and is projected to be in the starting lineup for opening night. 

Expected by Mike D'Antoni to be at nearly 100 percent by the time training camp rolls around, Gasol will definitely benefit by being eased in via a minutes cap to start the season off. 


Steve Nash

All signs seem to indicate that Steve Nash will be ready to go by the start of next season.

Suffering through a variety of hip and back issues last season, Nash just couldn't seem to get his rhythm with all of the time off he had to take to recuperate.

Thus far, he appears upbeat and confident in his rehab, and there don't seem to be any roadblocks or hitches in his recovery.

Nash states that he is very close to 100 percent. This will allow for D'Antoni to really lean on Nash in terms of trying to implement his system during training camp. 


Steve Blake

Steve Blake suffered a hamstring injury during the playoffs that effectively ended any hopes of the Lakers being even remotely competitive against the San Antonio Spurs during their first-round series.

The good news was that Blake didn't require surgery. Blake has been recovered for several months now and should be ready for training camp, barring any setbacks. 


Jordan Hill

Suffering a season-ending hip injury partway through the season, Jordan Hill seems to be on pace to return by the start of next season. 

The concerning news here is that Hill himself feels that the hip will never fully recover

While his efforts to add range to his jumper are admirable and should help him reduce his injury risk, it will be difficult for Hill to utilize the energy he is known for with a hip that won't fully recover. 


Jodie Meeks

While he was still rehabbing his left-ankle injury as of the third week of August, he has already resumed full-contact basketball activities and should be ready for training camp and opening night.

He should get a shot at the starting 2-guard spot if Bryant misses any time.