Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: Kobe Bryant Discusses Recovery Process, GM Mitch Kupchak Opens Up About Dwight Howard

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Jun 21, 2013 10:44 AM EDT
NBA Standings 2013 Playoffs Los Angeles Lakers Oklahoma City Thunder Chicago Bulls Kobe Bryant vs. Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) leaves the court after scoring 47 points against the Portland Trail Blazers after their NBA basketball game in Portland, Oregon, April 10, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola"

On Wednesday, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant joined the Mason and Ireland Show on ESPN 710 to discuss his rehab from a season-ending Achilles surgery after suffering the injury against the Golden State Warriors prior to the season's end.

Bryant talked about his rehab process, saying:

"The injury and the surgery happened about 2 months ago. I have been rehabbing for a month almost a month and a half."

Bryant was also asked how his leg has been feeling, and how his Achilles tendon was recovering.

"I think its gonna be more than fine. Now it actually feels better than it did before I got hurt."

Bryant had plans to return to action by the Lakers season opener, but has become more realistic about his injury and is now planning a November return. He's said that he wants to have the chance to win at least two more championships and surpass his childhood idol, Michael Jordan.

He said he recalls the end of the season as a missed opportunity, and if weren't for his injury, then the Lakers would've made a deeper run in the playoffs.

"Well I really look at it as a missed opportunity. Had I not gotten hurt we had been playing really well. We got into a rhythm in terms of who does what and how those roles are defined. So it was unfortunate but I know we are not far off."

For Bryant to see what his team is capable of, after a strong ending to the regular season, the Lakers will need to first lock down center Dwight Howard first.

During a Time Warner Cable Media event Wednesday night, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told reporters that he still maintains his optimism about re-signing Howard, but anticipates the All-Star will dabble in the free agency waters.

"He still could decide in his own mind early, but we're anticipating that July 1st will come and he'll experience being a free agent which is really what he's earned and once again he can't sign anything anyway until July 10th."

There have been plenty of rumors circulating about Howard's future, but Kupchak knows how it is dealing with a super-star free agent, saying the Lakers will plan to wait on Howard, just as they waited for Bryant several years ago before deciding to re-sign with the Lakers in 2004.

"We went through the same thing with Kobe Bryant," Kupchak said at Vibiana yesterday. "It's not a fun experience and there's a lot of anticipation but its not unusual in this business...We were on pins and needles until, I believe it was July 15th when Kobe notified us, so we'll be on pins and needles until we get notified again."

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Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: Kobe Bryant Aims For A Return In November, Says He Doesn't Care Who Wins NBA Finals

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