Kobe Bryant is known for being an iron man of sorts. Over the last five years, his toughness and ability to play through pain has become a thing of a legend. And so, given all that, when he makes it clear that he is considering missing time because of a hurt foot, folks can’t help but take notice.
There have been an assortment of reports regarding the severity of Kobe’s injury up to this point, but the most telling statement on the matter came from Pau Gasol this weekend.
"I don't remember the last time he took that many days off of exercising," Gasol said (via Los Angeles Daily News). "It's concerning."
Dwight Howard painted a similarly dreary picture.
"He's a little down right now," Howard said of Bryant. "He seems down because he can't get out there and practice with us."
For what it’s worth, though, Metta World Peace seemed a bit more optimistic about the likelihood of Kobe playing in the season opener.
"Every time he's hurt, he always plays," World Peace said. "We know him for that. The fans know him for that. I can see him definitely playing."
At 34 years old, it is unrealistic to expect that Kobe will be able to recover from his injuries as quickly as he used to. It just goes against everything we know about the aging process. Unfortunately, one of the things that accompanies slower recovery time with older players is the fact that their injuries never fully go away. They just reoccur over and over and over again.
The season opener is what it is – if Kobe misses it, so be it. This Lakers team has enough firepower to take on a Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavericks squad without their leader. Far more important is Kobe’s status from that point onward.
Keep an eye on this situation; an injury that was originally deemed minor by team brass in the early going isn’t sounding all that minor anymore.
(Kudos Los Angeles Daily News)