Kobe Bryant has returned from Germany, after embarking on a journey there five days ago to undergo another round of Orthokine treatment to his knee.
It was a maintenance procedure following something similar he underwent twice in 2011, and whether or not he personally informed Mike D’Antoni of his trip has essentially nothing to do with Bryant’s timetable for returning to action.
Bryant joined his teammates on the bench in Ontario, CA for the Lakers’ preseason game against the Nuggets, and while he didn’t speak to reporters, he did appear briefly for an interview on the Time Warner Cable telecast.
“He said it went great, feels good,” Coach Mike D’Antoni said Tuesday, the Lakers and Bryant declining to provide anything additional.
Bryant was at the team’s exhibition game against Denver in Ontario but did not talk to reporters beforehand.
Two hours before tipoff, he got off the team bus with a small box of cupcakes in his hand as a Lakers security official handed him his sunglasses. Bryant sat on the bench during the game while wearing his Lakers warm-ups. It was as close as he got to playing exactly three weeks before the season opener.
Bryant told Mike Trudell during the broadcast, “I feel very fortunate to be at this stage. I feel like I’m ahead of schedule.”
This is all in line with what we already know about Bryant’s situation — he may be ahead of schedule, but there’s no formal timetable for his return, and there certainly isn’t one publicly that will be infinitely scrutinized as his highly-anticipated return becomes closer to being realized.