Kobe Bryant Achilles Rehab: Looking for Any Clues We Can Find on Comeback Trail

One of the hardest things about tracking injuries is dealing with rehab. Flat out, it's boring. It's tedious. There's very little in the way of visible progress, and when there is, it's usually something we have to really independently translate and analyze to get any sort of value from it.

Kobe Bryant is in the midst of the long, boring, tedious rehab from Achilles surgery. While it's understandable Lakers fans (and basketball fans in general) want more information, even Bryant's own Twitter account isn't giving much of a clue.

For their part, the Lakers have been consistent if nothing else: "No comment." Clearly, Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti and his staff aren't letting anyone peek. 

That's not to say that things aren't going well, though. 

There have been some encouraging signs, including a TMZ report from last week that showed Bryant walking around Italy with his family. Kobe did not appear to have any sort of walking boot on his left foot. It's impossible to see inside the sneakers Bryant is wearing, though it's likely there's an orthotic to take some of the pressure off the repaired Achilles. 

There are four phases to the rehabilitation and recovery from Achilles reconstruction. Phases I and II normally take about 10 weeks and involve the immediate recovery from surgery and the return to function of the reconstructed tendon. Bryant was injured in mid-April and normally would be in Phase III, but the walking we've seen from him in Italy indicates that he's well ahead of schedule.

The Lakers are keeping Kobe in controlled situations, and the expectation has always been that he'd recover well ahead of normal estimates. There really is no "normal" when it comes to an elite athlete, let alone one at Bryant's level. 

This also matches up with comments from Lakers owner Jim Buss, via ESPN's Arash Markazi. Buss thinks he will return at the lo...

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