Although Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant was back at practice Wednesday afternoon, Lakers’ head coach Mike D’Antoni doesn’t want to rush things.
“I want to be a little careful because we’re going to have a few games before he comes back,” D’Antoni told Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles.
Bryant hopes to return before the end of the month, but obviously, the Lakers could have other ideas.
With a 5-7 record, the Lakers have to be somewhat anxious for Bryant’s return and D’Antoni doesn’t believe he will have any trouble fitting Bryant back into the rotation when he does return.
“He’s kind of an easy player to fit in,” D’Antoni said. “He’s going to do what he does. We know where he likes to get the ball, and we’ll go from there.”
D’Antoni’ is more worried about Bryant getting back into the swing of things, conditioning-wise, than he is with on the court play.
“Wind, conditioning, timing,” D’Antoni said. “There’s so many things. He hasn’t played since April and it just takes you a little bit. I think he surprised everybody by how he did already, but again, it’s a little bit different from practice than a game. It’s going to be a little bit of a process. But when he’s ready, he’ll know it.”
Bryant, who is trying to return from a torn Achilles, averaged 27.3 points, 6.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game for the Lakers last season.