Kobe Continues to Recuperate, Curry Expected to Start
After making three appearances in practice, five-time NBA champion, Kobe Bryant is not expected to start against the Golden State Warriors tonight. The Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard is still adjusting to his Achilles injury. Though Bryant was medically cleared to play just a few days ago, he is still not 100 percent to perform on the court. He is taking strides to making a full recovery, as he participated in two full-contact practices and live scrimmages with the team. His teammates and coaches see this as a sign that he could be back in action, but like any foot and ankle injury, the road through rehab is a lengthy process.
The seven-month old injury made its first sign of slowing down the 16-year veteran, as Bryant missed Thursday’s practice due to soreness in his injured, left foot. The Lakers are set to host the Warriors tonight where their four-year point guard Stephen Curry looks to return from his own setback.
Curry went down and slammed the left side of his face on the court Monday, suffering a mild concussion in a victory over Utah. He looked like his usual self as he participated in non-contact drills with the team on Thursday. With Bryant out, Curry can threaten the Lakers with some heavy artillery shots from beyond the three-point line.
Curry’s own ankle injuries suffered last season could be a factor and limit his playing time, should he experience dizziness or fatigue, which could dampen his mobility. He went through a scare earlier this month when he injured his left ankle, but MRI scans came back negative, only reporting a bruised bone.
Lakers’ head coach Mike D’Antoni told the Los Angeles Daily News that Bryant was a little tired following Wednesday’s practice. Bryant concurred and said that he felt limited in physical explosiveness, which in his case is a necessity for lateral movement and jump shot abilities should he contemplate playing tonight.
Our own foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Bob Baravarian told the San Francisco Chronicle that Bryant is an elite athlete who can take a much more aggressive approach with his rehab. “If he was a normal athlete at seven months, he’d be back to normal athletics,” said Dr. Baravarian. “The problem is, he’s an elite athlete. That’s what is amazing about it.”
Though Dr. Baravarian is still unsure if Bryant is capable of engaging in full-game contact. His ankle and Achilles may not be strong enough to cope with the explosive first step that Bryant takes when he drives to the basket. He is known for his ability to create space and push off defenders without hesitation to shoot his signature fade away jump shot.
Bryant may be medically cleared to play by their staff, but his coaches will determine when he is able to start without aggravating the ankle and Achilles. Even though Bryant is not expected to start tonight, we can look forward to seeing the 15-time All Star returning to strike fear in his opponents with his presence very soon.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of foot and ankle specialists, call 877-989-9110 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.
Dr. Baravarian been involved in athletics his entire life and played competitive tennis in high school and college. He has an interest in sports medicine, arthritis therapy and trauma/reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. He servers as a consultant to the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) tour, multiple running organizations and several shoe manufacturers. He is also fluent in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Farsi and Hebrew),
Podiatrist Dr. Bob Baravarian is available for consultation at the Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks and UCLA Westwood offices.
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