Forget ‘no pain, no gain’
So what are the chances we see Kobe Bryant back playing at or near the level we expect?
He tore his Achilles tendon and by all accounts… it was a complete tear. The time frame is six to nine months before he could even attempt a comeback.
The conventional wisdom is that Kobe’s work ethic and drive make him a lock to come back. But that alone won’t do it. In fact, that alone would work against him.
To rehabilitate any injury, an athlete has to go against the very drive that made him a star in the in the first place — pushing yourself to your limit and beyond. But pushing your body in rehab guarantees re-injuring yourself. The discipline to come back from an injury means a lot of work, but all the time reining in that competitive edge that’s always sparked you.
Yes, Kobe’s drive to excel will enable him to do all the work necessary to recover. But it will require intelligence and a discipline that recognizes his limitations as well.
Kobe know all that. Which is why I’m not betting against him.