Kobe Bryant talks to the media in Shanghai, China on October 17, 2013
On Thursday, Kobe Bryant appeared in Shanghai, walked about, dribbled a basketball between his legs and did a couple mini-jukes. Then, he met with the media and discussed his recovery from the injured Achilles tendon.
A few days after saying he was going to "rev" up the conditioning, Bryant appeared a bit more reserved but still optimistic.
"It's coming along," Bryant said about his recovery. "I can't quite push all the way through yet, but it's coming along.
"It gets tight, so we continue to work with the mobility. I feel good about it."
Bryant and the entire Los Angeles Lakers team joined Yao Ming and the NBA to help with the NBA Cares Special Olympics Clinic in Shanghai. After Thursday's clinic, the entire Lakers team -- including Bryant -- made itself available to the large contingent of Chinese and foreign media.
"I look forward to have him back, and I'm sure he's eager to get back on the court and play and test out that Achilles," Pau Gasol said about his injured teammate.
Gasol has long been Bryant's closest teammate, and the Spaniard suggested that Bryant had not yet resumed court activities.
Head coach Mike D'Antoni laughed off questions about Bryant playing in Shanghai and said he would join along with chants of "We want Kobe" during Friday's game. Then, he clarified that Bryant will not play on Friday, setting clear expectations for the Chinese fans in attendance and watching at home.
"It's going to take some time and no one knows how long that's going to be, but he's progressing every day, and he's running every day," D'Antoni said about his injured superstar.
"He really hasn't gone on the court to do basketball activities," D'Antoni confirmed what Gasol had hinted. "When that starts, we'll have a better handle, but it hasn't started yet."
Apart from Bryant, D'Antoni stated that he had a full roster as Wesley Johnson and Jordan Farmar expect to play on Friday night when the Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.