It looks like the return of the Black Mamba is coming soon.

Kobe Bryant finally returned to practice after spending seven months away because of his Achilles tendon injury. He's been participating in shooting drills, but this is far better news for Lakers nation. Of course, his teammates are pretty excited. Pau Gasol says, "He looked good—really good. It was his first time back out there, but he looked really good, which I'm very happy to see."

Bryant implied that he wasn't at full strength yet, noting he can still pull the fadeaway, still has the ballhandling skills, and can post. It sounds limiting, but a fraction of the Black Mamba is better than none at all.

Although the Lakers have a losing record, they actually haven't been that terrible. They pulled off a win against the superior Clippers on opening night and picked up another one against the Rockets. Los Angeles' blowout loss against the Warriors has to be noted at the same time though.

In Bryant's absence, Jodie Meeks has stepped up to provide 13.2 points per game. It's not the 27.3 PPG Bryant offered last season, but it's something.

RELATED: Kobe Bryant: Badass or Jackass?   

[via ESPN]