La Lakers star man Kobe Bryant was back on the practice court for the first time on Saturday since his injury, claiming he would have played if it was a playoff game.
Bryant tore his achilles tendon just before the playoffs last season in a match versus Golden State Warriors, where he stayed on to make two free-throws before leaving the court.
The 15-time NBA All-Star had surgery the next day and seven months on was finally able to have a practice court session which included contact drills, shooting and strategy work, providing a welcome boost to a Lakers side that have started the season slowly.
Furthermore, Bryant told the LA Times: "If it was a playoff game tonight, I could play. I don't know how effective I'd be, but I would play."
It has still not been confirmed when Bryant will return to match action, but if the 35-year-old shows some of the form he is capable of then Lakers will have a chance of making a playoff push after a start that sees them with 5-7 record.
The five time NBA champion is entering the last year of his $30.5million a season contract and would love to add to his honour list, while Lakers have more than missed both his ability and influence on the court.
The 'Black Mamba's' return would be a welcome one for the league as well, with Bryant generally considered one the greatest players of all time and his face offs with Miami Heat's LeBron James usually being must watch encounters.
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