The Los Angeles Lakers are very confident about the return of Phil Jackson for the season opener against the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 31st, less than one month after his hip surgery.
However concerning their star players including Brown, Mihm and Bryant the Lackers are more pessimistic for a quick return. The Lackers are now almost certain to start the season without Kwame Brown and Chris Mihm. As for Kobe Bryant, his position is not determined in addition but there very few chances for the forward player to be ready on time now.
Jackson, 61, was forced to undergo hip-substitute surgery Oct. 3rd when his worsening condition left no different. But the coach initially thought he could avoid the surgery by resting during the off-season rest and rehabilitation. Jackson managed to retrieve quickly and will likely be able to be on the bench already before the season opener for the last preseason game in Anaheim on Oct. 26th. It will be the second season for Jackson who signed a three-year contract with the Lakers last year. Since his surgery, he was restricted to part-time coaching duty all month, entrusting Kurt Rambis with running the team by training camp and exhibition play.
Bryant underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on July 15th. The forward player, who wished to play in at the minimum one pre-season game, is very doubtful for the Lakers’ exhibition on Sunday against the Suns in San Diego and next week’s Denver game. The All-Star player is now almost in his 15th week of rehabilitation while the initial estimates rehab time was estimated to eight or twelve weeks maximum. already though he will be put on the floor, some raised concerns about the ability of Bryant to play well after a month of poor conditioning and limited preparations.
Another bigger uncertainty is the ability for the Lakers to play with much cohesion in November after such October characterized by several players’ injuries. Brown is sidelined for three to four weeks after injured his shoulder over the last weekend. Another star player, Mihm is nevertheless recovering from off-season ankle surgery and Vladimir Radmanovic, who was L.A.’s dominant summer acquisition, was forced to rest because of a sprained ligament in his shooting hand.
The last season has also been characterized by a large number of injuries leading the team to record a poor post of 45-37 record. But t was enough to allow them to return to the playoffs after a one-year absence. However it appears they will have to play without many of their meaningful players for the first games at home.