Last season Kobe Bryant suffered a serious injury: a torn Achilles tendon. According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, only 44% of NBA players were able to return to the NBA and play for more than one season after having surgical repair. The other 56% either never returned to the NBA or were forced to give up the sport due to pain or other complications. Bryant has told fans that he “shattered” the normal timetable for recovery from his injury. Three-and-a-half months post surgery and Bryant can walk perfectly fine, an accomplishment that takes most NBA players, 5-6 months to recover. Bryant is predicting that he will be back on the court before Christmas. Is this possible?
Kobe Bryant has a reputation for being extremely determined. He takes the game and his craft more seriously than perhaps any other player in the NBA. Countless commentators have spoken of his “warrior ethos” and “will to win.” When his team is losing, he has been known to take it upon himself to score more points. Though this tactic is not without flaws, as he could most likely maximize his team’s efficiency by utilizing the talents of other players more frequently, historically speaking Bryant has been able to spur his team to victory with his renewed vigor. As this event can only happen one way, and the conditions have already been set, it is likely that Kobe Bryant will make a recovery more complete than most other players will. Though Bryant cannot fight biology, his determination and will to win may enable him to recover more completely than others. If his ankle creates new limitations, it is likely that Bryant will work (and succeed) to overcome the limitations.