BEIJING – Kobe Bryant said Monday he expected to increase his workload in practice later in the day, giving the Lakers good news on the medical front on back-to-back days, a record by their standards the last couple seasons.
Speaking before practice at MasterCard Center, where the Lakers and Warriors will play an exhibition Tuesday night local time (7:30 a.m. ET, NBA TV), Bryant cautioned that he still does not know if he will play in the season opener Oct. 29 against the Clippers. He said he could not estimate so much as when he will participate in a full practice, the next major step in the recovery from a torn Achilles’ tendon. But he left no doubt there have been improvements.
“I feel pretty good,” Bryant said. “I’m stepping it up. I’m looking forward to today’s practice and seeing what I can do from a conditioning standpoint. Rev it up a little bit.
“I haven’t pushed it-pushed it yet. I’ve done some pretty heavy running on the treadmill over the last few days, more than I’ve ever done before. I’ve never been a big treadmill guy, but it was necessary. Today, hopefully I can get out on the court and run. I feel like I can kind of pick up the pace and that I can keep doing that.”
Meanwhile, the other starting guard, Steve Nash, reported no ill effects after participating in the full practice Sunday and said he expects to face the Warriors on Tuesday. Nash, who struggled with his health last season, sprained his left ankle last Friday against the Kings in Las Vegas.
“I plan to play tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes,” Nash said. “I’m not worried about it. I think this is going to be a month of ups and downs, trying to get in condition to play. That’s what this time of year is for.”