- Dave McMenamin, ESPN Staff Writer
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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Kobe Bryant has been cleared for full weight-bearing running as he continues his rehabilitation from Achilles surgery on his left leg, but chose to run on an altered-gravity treadmill Monday, according to a Los Angeles Lakers spokesman.
Despite the apparent regression in his rehab after the star guard went through sprints on the court while the Lakers were in China, the team's public relations vice president John Black said Bryant has "not suffered any setbacks" along his comeback trail.
Bryant told reporters last week he had "scaled back" his workouts since the Lakers returned from their international trip in order to "get a little more flexibility" in his Achilles.
"He pushed it pretty good, now he's just letting it settle in, then he'll up it again," said Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni. "I think there will be some starts and ends and starts. That's just the way it goes. He'll just have to monitor it and he knows better than anybody, so he'll know what to do."
D'Antoni already seems to have grown weary of the Bryant line of questioning, telling an out-of-town reporter that nothing had changed with Bryant's status since the last time the reporter was in L.A. for media day a month ago.
"He'll be back when he can get back," said D'Antoni. "I'm sure he's making progress and he'll be back as soon as he can.
"We'll all see it together. We're not trying to hide or pull a curtain back, Wizard of Oz is not behind the curtain. He'll go when he can go."
Bryant has spent many of the Lakers games during the preseason in the locker room, using the time to continue the rehabilitation process, but D'Antoni said that it wouldn't surprise him to see Bryant on the bench come Tuesday.
"I think he probably will be because it would be exciting to be out there, but I don't know," D'Antoni said.
7dEthan Sherwood Strauss