Kobe on the Achilles

June 28, 2013 3:05 pm PDT


Kobe Bryant sat down with Lakers.com for an extended conversation on Thursday in which he discussed the rehabilitation process for his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon, Dwight Howard's free agency and his legacy as an NBA player.

Up first is the portion on his Achilles, in which Bryant goes into detail about his day-to-day progress, explains how the injury will affect his game and talks about when he'll really be able to ramp up his activities.

Below is a transcript of Part I:

Q: On the Achilles:
Bryant: It's feeling really strong. I can walk without a limp … I can go up the stairs and just stand on my toe, which shows a lot of strength in the tendon.

Q: On the benefit of working 1-on-1 every day with the team's head physical therapist, Dr. Judy Seto:
Bryant: I've known Judy since 1998, and we finally brought her on board full time (last year). She's fantastic, man. She keeps me young. Keeps Vino alive.

Q: On what he'll specifically do to rehabilitate the Achilles after the interview:
Bryant: Immediately after this I'll jump into a form of contrast therapy, which is doing cold and then hot, cold and then hot to try and pump out some of the swelling. Then Judy will do some manual therapy to try and push out some more of the inflammation, some modalities. Then I'll get into the strengthening part, making sure I do some patterns, some single-leg balance work and then walking on the Alter G (weightless treadmill) for a little bit.

Q: On from where he draws motivation to recover:
Bryant: It's about taking on the challenge, you know, and then everything else that goes on around you are all peripheral opponents. But the challenge starts within.

Q: On being able to fall back on skills if he loses athleticism:
Bryant: It's just the way I grew up playing the game. I learned how to play from a myriad of positions and different skill sets. There were times when I wasn't the fastest guy out there because I was playing against kids that were seven or eight years older than me, so I had to figure out how to be effective. And that's helped me in my professional game, because I can adjust my game. That's why I can play through injuries, swollen ankles or loss of speed … You just adjust. I don't think it's reinventing the wheel or anything like that. If you have to play a slower game, you play a slower game. If you have to post up more, you post up more. If the explosiveness and speed is there, then it's there and you use it in moderation.

Q: On if when Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss plug in the roster next season, they can found on Kobe being Kobe:
Bryant: That's one thing that you can really count on as long as I'm here. I'll be out there ready to go, playing at a high level.

Q: On if November or early December at the latest remains his goal for a return date:
Bryant: Absolutely. It really just depends on the tendon. When the doctor takes the Governor off me, so to speak, and says that the tendon is where we need it to be and that it's not a concern to overstretch it, that means it's on me. That means it's strengthening the calf muscle, getting in shape … I can handle that.