When Kobe Bryant's 2012-13 campaign came to an abrupt end after he suffered a torn Achilles on April 12, basketball fans couldn't escape the fear that it might have been their final Mamba sighting.
Clearly, those fears have been alleviated.
Via NTD.tv, Bryant said he's "shattered" the typical recovery timetable from this injury. And everyone's made a prediction of just how much of his rehab schedule he's shaved off.
Los Angeles Lakers vice president Jerry Buss told NBA TV, via ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi, that he "would bet a lot of money that this guy comes back probably in preseason." Bleacher Report's injury expert Will Carroll said the five-time champion will be ready for L.A.'s season opener.
More important than simply his return date, though, is how he'll look when he does.
So why not make like the Mamba here and shatter a normal analysis time frame by laying out seven way-too-early predictions for Bryant's first run of the 2013-14 season?