Kobe Bryant just got another jolt of motivation to return quickly – perhaps too quickly – from his April 12 Achilles tendon tear.
According to a report from Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers will face Dwight Howard and the Rockets in Houston on Nov. 7. The NBA is expected to release its 2013-14 schedule later this week, but Yahoo! obtained the information in advance.
Bryant has not given a concrete target date for his return beyond saying he hopes to be back by November or December. Even that would be a fast comeback; rehab from an Achilles injury typically takes about nine months. Early November will be just seven months after Bryant’s injury, which would seem to make his chances of taking the court that night a long shot, but there have already been murmurs of Bryant being ready for opening night in late October or early November.
Facing Howard may be an extra impetus for Bryant to recover as quickly as he can. The free agent center, who left the Lakers to sign a four-year, $88 million deal with Houston in July, had a contentious relationship with Bryant throughout his time in Los Angeles.
The Lakers and the Rockets could face each other up to four times next season.