Kobe Bryant completed almost one week of in-depth conditioning but declined to provide a return date from the torn Achilles' tendon keeping him sidelined since mid-April.
He recently said he would need three consecutive weeks of solid conditioning before being ready for game action.
"This week was a good start. I was able to run and run pretty well. I'd probably count this week," he said Friday before the Lakers played San Antonio. "I've been able to push pretty hard and the next day come back, push hard again. The recovery of it has been pretty good this week."
Bryant resumed running on flat surfaces after acknowledging last week he had "scaled back" his conditioning.
When pressed for a timetable Friday, Bryant cursed mildly and changed the subject.
"This is turning into a press conference. I just wanted to get my weekly thing out of the way," he said, adding a smile.
Because he is injured, Bryant talks to reporters only once a week, as per NBA rules.
He said his Achilles felt fine. It was more about getting his left ankle up to speed.
"It's really lack of flexibility and range of motion in the [ankle] joint. It's not anything to do with the [Achilles'] tendon necessarily. Having the ankle locked up so long, it won't move," he said.
"The Achilles is what it is. We've gotten through the hard part as far as preserving its tightness. Now you've got to make sure that you're not putting yourself in jeopardy for other parts of the body. You don't want to create a string of injuries that then it's just one after the other."
Bryant hasn't been active on the bench during Lakers games, usually sitting quietly behind his teammates, but he has talked individually to them off the court.
"It's tough when you're sidelined for so long to not feel part of the process," he said. "You're not out there every day on the practice court with them or even watching them practice for that matter because you're doing treatment, you're working out, things like that. It's very easy to lose that connectivity."
Bryant added a Halloween joke, saying he didn't eat many sweets, cognizant of the healthy diet promoted by Lakers strength and conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco.
"If it was candy, it was grass-fed," he said.
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