Kobe practices for first time since Achilles tear

Kobe Bryant returned to the practice court Saturday for the first time since tearing his left Achilles’ tendon in mid-April.

The practice consisted of some contact drills, shooting and strategy work.

Players were supposed to go at half speed in drills but it “turned into 100 percent real fast. And Kobe was part of it,” reserve guard Steve Blake said.

“He looks like Kobe to me, basically. He’s moving well, right back to his old self.”

Bryant did not talk to reporters but did an interview for NBA TV.

“The fade-away still works, the ball-handling and being able to post,” he said. “Those are things that I can do right now. But it’s not the playoffs.”

Bryant began ramping up his off-the-court workouts in recent weeks, though the team declined to provide an updated timetable for his return.

The Lakers play Detroit on Sunday and then don’t play again until Friday against Golden State.

“The next practice day will be Tuesday. We’ll look forward to see what he can do then,” Lakers spokesman John Black said.

–Mike Bresnahan