Report: Bryant hopes to be ready for opener

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant. (Reuters files)

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant. (Reuters files)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 4:13 AM ET

Six weeks after having surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said he hopes to be ready to play in the Lakers’ 2013-2014 season opener, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com.

“I hope so,” Bryant said in an interview, according to the report. “That’s the challenge. With the tendon, there’s really only but so much you can do. There’s a certain amount of time that they deem necessary for the tendon to heal where you don’t overstretch it and now you never get that spring back.

”So, you just have to be patient, let the tendon heal and then when that moment comes when they say, ’OK, we can take off the regulator so to speak and now it’s on you to train as hard as you can to get back to where you want to be,’ that’s going to be a good day.“

Regarding the future of Lakers center Dwight Howard, who is considering signing with other teams, Bryant said he will be patient.

”For me, you kind of let him do his due diligence and then move in and talk to him and figure out if this is a place he wants to be,“ Bryant said. ”We all want him here. But then that’s when the selling begins (after Howard is courted by other teams). You don’t start the selling process right before he goes and does all this stuff. You want to get the last word. You want to have the final word and the closing argument. I’ll give him a little opening statement, but then I have to make sure I have the final word.“

Bryant has spoken to his former coach, Phil Jackson, who picked Michael Jordan over Bryant when comparing the two in Jackson’s book.

”I talked to Phil about it,“ said Bryant. ”I said, ’You know, you can’t compare me at (age) 21-22-23 to Michael at 28-29-30. That’s not a fair comparison. But, you know, I’m comfortable at resting on my five (championships) and what I had to do for this team to be successful.“


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