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Early prognosis has Lakers in good health, waiting on Kobe Bryant

October 02, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Lakers guard Kobe Bryant before he was injured in a game last season against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant before he was injured in a game last season against… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

Health is the biggest question for the Lakers this season.

So far through training camp, the team is in good shape with 17 of its 19 players healthy.

Kobe Bryant is working his way back from a torn Achilles tendon. Ryan Kelly is hoping to return soon from a lengthy rehab after foot surgery.

Although Kelly has taken the floor to get some shooting under his belt, he hasn't been cleared to run. Bryant's return is expected to take longer than Kelly's.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are holding both Pau Gasol and Steve Nash out of the team's two-a-day practices, limiting the veterans to just one of the two daily sessions.

The move is precautionary as both Gasol and Nash struggled last season with injuries -- spending significant time rehabbing over the summer to get healthy. So far both have responded well through the first few days of camp.

Jordan Hill missed much of last season with a hip injury that required surgery, but he says he's in great shape.

"The hip feels wonderful. It's not holding me back from anything," he said at the team's media day Saturday. "I feel really good."

Steve Blake, who had hamstring, abdominal and groin problems last season, also said he's fully recovered.

The Lakers have a thin margin this season. The team has talent but other franchises may have more.

If Kobe Bryant can return to full strength, relatively quickly, the Lakers will be competitive.


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