Kobe's triumphant return?

Examining whether Bryant can play in November, what to expect on the court

Updated: November 22, 2013, 2:54 PM ET
By Dr. Mark Adickes | ESPN Insider

Kobe BryantDanny La/USA TODAY SportsKobe Bryant says he could be playing in games this month. Is that likely?

The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the human body. It connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and allows an athlete to explode off of his/her leg when running, jumping and cutting. In short, it is one of the most essential tissues for a basketball player.

So one might understand why things looked bleak when Kobe Bryant suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in early April. NBA Hall of Famers Dominique Wilkins and Isiah Thomas were never the same after suffering torn Achilles tendons, and this prospect is very possible for Bryant.

On Saturday, Bryant was cleared to resume basketball activities. However, Bryant's claim that he could see himself playing in November seems incredulous. After all, Bryant's injury was a third-degree tear, which means it was completely ruptured. That doesn't mean it was simply torn in two like tearing a piece of paper.

Rather, it was shredded. The two ends looked like spaghetti. Thus, it is the surgeon's job to put it back together to facilitate healing. It's been more than seven months since his surgery, and Bryant has returned to practice.

What can we expect from him? And is it actually possible he could play in a game in November as he claimed? Unlikely.