Lakers News: Kobe Bryant’s Return to Practice Good Sign for Lake Show

He's (almost) baaaaaaack. 

Kobe Bryant has been steadily moving forward in his rehab of a torn Achilles suffered last April, and on Saturday, he leaped a significant hurdle.

According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the 35-year-old superstar took part in Saturday's practice with the Los Angeles Lakers, the first time he has done so in over seven months:

And while rust is sure to be a factor for Mamba, who hasn't played an NBA game in 219 days (that's over 18 million seconds, if you were wondering), Pau Gasol had some optimistic words following practice, via ESPN's Ramona Shelburne:

Couple this news with the fact that Bryant told Rick Fox in an NBA TV interview, via ESPN's Dave McMenamin, that he could have played on Friday if it was a playoff game, and it's only a matter of time until the future Hall of Famer is back in Mike D'Antoni's lineup. 

It might be tough for Kobe to make it back for yesterday's game against Memphis, which is the contest many predicted for his return when he sent out a mysterious "#BearHunt" tweet, but somewhere right around Thanksgiving seems realistic at this point. 

Whenever it happens, though, it will be compelling to see how effective Bryant is upon his return. 

Over his magical 17-year career, he has proved to be one of the toughest competitors in the game, playing through pain, coming back early from injuries and producing when injuries, age or mileage might have suggested otherwise. 

But Bryant has never come back from something as serious as this. Odds are he exceeds expectations because, well, he's Kobe. But it will be interesting to watch, nonetheless. 

No matter how effective he may be, the 4-7 Lakers, who have dropped four of their past five, need him. And it goes beyond the obvious reason of him being one of the best players in the league. ...

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