The Likeliest Scenarios for Kobe Bryant’s Comeback Season

The day after Halloween, Kobe Bryant emerged from what we can only assume is his rehabilitation "Bat Cave"—in which longtime Los Angeles Lakers trainer Gary Vitti presumably plays the role of Alfred and strength and conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco assumes the position of Lucius Fox—to have an NBA-mandated weekly chat with the local media.

And, wouldn't you know it? Nobody knows when he'll be back to playing basketball on a regular basis, much less when he'll be ready to don the purple and gold for the first time since he tore his Achilles tendon this past April.

Not even Kobe, who refused to entertain any notions of an estimated return date when pressed by reporters in L.A. to do so, per Mark G. Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.

So, if the Black Mamba himself doesn't yet know what to expect, even though he's already begun the three weeks of conditioning that he said he'd need before he got back on the court, then, realistically, what can anyone anticipate from him in the weeks and months to come?


Kobe Takes a Leap Year

At this point, it seems highly, highly, HIGHLY (did I mention "highly"?) unlikely that Kobe will sit out the entire 2013-14 season, a la Derrick Rose in 2012-13.

Time's a-wastin', and nobody's more aware of that than Bryant. At his age (35) and with the mileage on his body, Bryant understands that he only has so many years of good basketball left in him and, in turn, that it's imperative to make the most of those he has left.

That's why he's been rehabbing like a maniac since spring. He's fighting against the prevailing forces of Father Time and Mother Nature, with the express intent of shedding his street clothes to reveal game-day garb.

Still, there's no telling if/when Bryant's body might suffer another setback while he's pushing for an early return. He's already had to pump the brakes once on ...

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