Unfortunately for Kobe Bryant and Lakers fans, the veteran suffered an injury a week ago during a New Orleans Pelicans game.
Kobe underwent a successful shoulder surgery and the team staff was quick to announce that Bryant is set to return training camp in September.
Bryant addressed his expectations a day after shoulder surgery in a brief interview with ESPN, saying he planned on being ready to play come September for the Los Angeles Lakers’ training camp.
Yeah, that’s the plan,” he said.
Bryant said his rehab over the next couple of months will involve “a lot of patience.”
“Sore, but it’s OK,” Bryant said of his shoulder.
He said media opinion on whether he should return for a 20th season or retire wouldn’t affect his decision.
“I don’t really listen much to what people have to say, to be honest with you,” Bryant said.
Bryant is expected to need nine months to recover from his third straight season-ending injury, a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder suffered last week that he had surgically repaired Wednesday.
If Bryant meets that timetable, he could return to basketball shortly before the start of the 2015-16 season, the final year of his contract with the Lakers.
Bryant, who will be 37 this summer, is the NBA’s highest-paid player at $23.5 million this season.
He is under contract for $25 million next year.