"I'm off crutches. I'm walking around, just trying to get the strength back in my leg," said Randle, who is out for the season after breaking his leg in October in his first regular-season game with the Lakers.
"Honestly, I don't even know if I'm supposed to be off crutches," said Randle, who scrapped the walking aids roughly a week ago. "The doctor said to go at your own pace. My pace was to get rid of them immediately."
The Lakers were practically giddy after they hosted Randle for a draft workout in June, and thrilled that the Kentucky power forward was available at the seventh pick in the
After showing flashes through the preseason and in practice, Randle was felled in his debut, a loss at Staples Center to the
Randle isn't the only member of the 2014 draft class to be snake-bit. Second-overall pick Jabari Parker (
Other lottery selections suffering significant injuries this season include third pick Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), fourth pick Aaron Gordon (Orlando Magic), sixth pick Marcus Smart (
"Unfortunately it's happened with our draft class a lot, but injuries in general are just a part of the game," Randle said. "You put your body out there, sacrifice your body, it happens. "
It's been a difficult, isolated start to his career, but Randle is expected to return to full strength well before next season.
"You miss the competitive atmosphere, going to war with your teammate," Randle said. "It's a brotherhood out there, and it's tough to just sit back and watch, but I'm learning a lot throughout all of this."
Randle said he's studying film, both of current players (
He's also learning from watching the Lakers in the gym.
"There are things I know I need to work on, watching how guys take care of their bodies over the course of the season," he said. "Little things that will help me next year."
Randle visited his former teammates at Kentucky over the weekend. Naturally they peppered him with questions about his teammate
"They're like, 'Does Kobe really [act] out like that?'" he recalled. "I was like, 'Nah, he's just competitive. It wasn't serious anything like that. He's just a competitive guy, he expects the best out of us.'"
Randle was referring to a recent incident in which Bryant called out his teammates in front of General Manager
"It was funny. I can't say it was nothing that I didn't expect," Randle said. "Like I said, there's reason why he is who is, that's part of it."
The Lakers (8-17) host the
After taking Tuesday off, the Lakers and All-Star guard Bryant went through a light practice, with a heavier schedule expected Thursday.