Kobe Bryant caught some people by surprise last week when he traveled to Germany for another round of platelet-rich plasma therapy on his right knee, but he explained Tuesday that the trip was simply a matter of convenience.
"I do it every now and then," Bryant told Time Warner Cable SportsNet, when asked about the cutting-edge procedure. "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, if it's going to be sore or what. Instead of taking that chance in the middle of the season and trying to disappear to Germany then, I figured I'd do it right now."
On Monday, Bryant posted two photos of his knees being treated with needles to Instagram with the caption "In case [you] were wondering... Germany."
Bryant downplayed the significant of the knee maintenance, which he previously received in 2011, and painted it as just another step on his path back to the court.
"Just making sure I take care of everything," he said of the trip. "I haven't had this much time off in a very, very long time. When I come back I want to make sure I'm 100 percent."
As for the Achilles, Bryant continued to avoid any discussion of a possible return date, but he continued to strike the optimistic tone he's used all summer.
"It's going well, I feel good," he told Time Warner Cable SportsNet. "Obviously I feel like I'm ahead of schedule. It's about kind of getting that range of motion where I feel like I can run comfortably. The last stage is really the explosiveness and the muscle endurance and that will come."
Bryant, 35, is entering the final year of a contract that will pay him an NBA-high $30.5 million. The five-time champion needs just 676 points to move past Michael Jordan for the No. 3 spot on the all-time scoring list. The Lakers open the regular season against the Clippers on Oct. 29.