Kobe Bryant celebrated his 37th birthday by resuming practice for the first time since his injuries last season. The Los Angeles Lakers star announced his return to the basketball floor on Instagram showing he is on his way back to recovery, and ready for the upcoming 2015 NBA season.
"First day back on the court shooting! Bout Damn time!! #shoulderrecovery #20thseason #drinkbodyarmor #lakers," Bryant posted on the social media site. He also thanked his supporters who greeted him on his birthday.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 23, 2015
Bryant, who suffered a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder in January, has played just 41 games in the last two seasons. Aside from the shoulder injury, the veteran shooting guard also suffered injuries to his Achilles tendon and left knee, both times ending his season prematurely.
Bryant still averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists in the 2014-2015 season for the Lakers, and remains the top player for the Hollywood squad. The Lakers are not expected to contend for a title in the upcoming NBA season, but Bryant’s return should help the squad aim for a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference.
Bryant will join a Lakers team, which will feature multiple new faces. In the 2015 offseason, they signed or acquired veterans Lou Williams, Brandon Bass and Roy Hibbert. Others in the Lakers roster pegged to have key roles are Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle.