Kobe Bryant has been cleared by Lakers medical staff to begin running and shooting, and will begin a six month training program when he returns from Europe this weekend in an effort to be ready for training camp in October, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles.
The news for Bryant, who turns 36 this summer, marks a step forward as he continues to recover from a fracture in his left knee suffered during the Lakers' victory in Memphis last December, a mere six games after he had come back from a ruptured Achilles.
The five-time NBA champion was not on hand for the team's season finale on Wednesday, a 113-100 win over the Spurs in San Antonio, because he had already left on a short wedding anniversary trip to Europe with his wife Vanessa. While overseas, however, he will visit the medical clinic in Germany where he had received a platelet-rich plasma treatment on his knee last October.
According to Shelburne, the visit to the clinic is "to ensure all is structurally sound with his knee before he resumes intense training" with an eye on October for his return.
The Lakers finished the season on Wednesday with a 27-55 record, missing the playoffs for the first time in six years and recording their worst record since moving to Los Angeles in 1960.