About two months ago, Lakers vice president Jim Buss came out and announced that he thought Kobe Bryant would be ready to resume playing basketball by the time the 2013 NBA preseason rolled around. But as it turns out, Kobe is probably not going to be ready by that time. The Lakers haven't completely ruled it out just yet. But they are approaching his return to the basketball court cautiously.

"He's progressing well and has met all the targets and milestones of his rehab, and we expect him to make a full recovery," Lakers spokesman John Black told The Los Angeles Times on Monday. "One of the key issues is to make sure he builds up strength and endurance not only in his Achilles but also in his legs, knees, back, and core."

So basically, Kobe has come a long way in the last few months, but he's still got a looooooong way to go. And that might prevent him from playing in the preseason this year. We can't say we're entirely surprised. But we also won't be surprised if he does come back in time for the preseason, either, despite what the Lakers are saying right now. This is Kobe Bryant we're talking about, after all. Anything is possible.

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[via Los Angeles Times]