How We’ll Know When Kobe Bryant Is Fully Recovered from His Achilles Injury

I’m not entirely sold on the fact that Kobe Bryant is a human being.

I’ve seen the Black Mamba play through ankle, back, wrist, finger and shoulder injuries that would have sidelined some of his peers for double, or even triple, the time that he missed—if he was even out for any time at all.

With two games remaining in the 2013 NBA season, and his Los Angeles Lakers on the verge of a playoff berth, Bryant tore his Achilles. And he handled it in a way that only the Mamba could.

After his ankle “just popped,” as he described it, Bryant limped back onto the court and hit two clutch free throws to tie the game with three minutes left before coming out. In his postgame interview, via Dave McMenamin of, Bryant vowed that his career wasn’t over but referred to the looming comeback as a “mountain.” 

Seeing him so seriously injured was one of the few times in which Bryant legitimately seemed like a normal human.

Watching him prepare to return in 2014 for his 18th season is the latest instance that proves to me that the Mamba is of a different breed.

Bryant has promised from day one that he’d be ready for opening night next season, but that was initially taken with a grain of salt. Of course that’s what he was going to say—he’s Kobe.

On July 10, Bryant’s orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Robert Klapper, tweeted that his patient’s vow would become a reality. The Mamba will be ready for the start of the season.

The fact that he’ll be ready for the opening game is amazing, but some questions still need to be asked. When will Kobe be Kobe again? Will he ever be the player he once was?

This is the strongest-willed player since Michael Jordan we’re talking about here. If anyone is going to come back from this injury stronger than ever, i...

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