Kobe Bryant, left, talks with Nick Young before the Lakers' preseason… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)
With so much time off while recovering from his torn Achilles' tendon, Kobe Bryant opted to fly to Germany to get his knee treated -- to make sure it's sound when he finally returns to the court.
"I haven't had this much time off in a very, very long time," said Bryant on the Time Warner Cable SportsNet broadcast during the Lakers' preseason game against the Denver Nuggets in Ontario. "When I come back I want to make sure I'm 100%."
Bryant underwent Orthokine treatment on his right knee, a procedure designed to reduce inflammation.
"I do it every now and then but this year, this summer I haven't had the chance to run, so I don't know how the knee is going to hold up," he said. "Instead of taking the chance in the middle of the season, trying to take the trip to Germany, I figured I'd do it right now."
It's unclear when Bryant, who had surgery in April, will be ready to play.
"I feel good and obviously I feel I am ahead of schedule," said Bryant. "It's about getting that range of motion back, where I can run comfortably. The last stage is really the explosiveness and the muscle endurance, but that will come."
It's unlikely Bryant will be ready by opening night on Oct. 29 at home against the Clippers.
Bryant has been happy with the team's performance thus far in camp and through the exhibition season.
"I like the way that we're playing, particularly on the defensive end," he said. "I feel like we're playing with a lot of energy. Now it's just about measuring the game and being able to see what's in front of you and make the adjustments on the fly."
If Bryant can return healthy, the Lakers may have a playoff team. Without him at close to full strength, the roster will find it difficult to climb into the top eight in the Western Conference.
"I've got to get in shape," he said. "I've been sitting on my butt now for a while. I've got to get up and get moving."
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