Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 6/22/13
Recovering from a torn Achilles' tendon, Kobe Bryant turned to soccer star David Beckham for advice. "Becks and I have grown to be pretty close since he's been playing in Los Angeles for the Galaxy the last five years," said Bryant in a video interview with ESPN.com.br on Friday while vacationing in Brazil. Beckham tore his Achilles in 2010, but was able to make a strong return to the pitch. "He and I talked for quite a bit about his process, and his recovery," Kobe said. "He hasn't had any issues with it since. He's won several championships since the injury, so I'm pretty encouraged by that." Bryant was injured on April 12 in a win over the Golden State Warriors. He had surgery the following day, with a projected recovery of six to nine months. While in Brazil, Bryant met with Hall-of-Fame Brazilian basketball star Oscar Schmidt, who at 55 years old is battling brain cancer. Me and Oscar. One of my childhood idols brazil legend pic.twitter.come81rMyZWBe Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) June 21, 2013 "Oscar Schmidt was the guy when I grew up in Italy," said Bryant. "He was 35-40 points every night. He was just automatic. I remember just watching him play and saying, 'Man if I can shoot like that, at his height 6 feet 9 and to be able to handle the ball at his size.'" Bryant also tweeted a picture with Brazilian soccer star Leandro Damio. LeandroDamiao Brazil Nikefutebol pic.twitter.comJ4EVTY6OkP Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) June 21, 2013 The Lakers hope to have Bryant at full strength next year but he may not be able to return until November or December. "It's going well," he said of his recovery. "I'm pretty much two months out of surgery, and I'm walking" he said. "I can get up on my toes. I'm pleased with how it's going so far." Bryant admitted to having some initial doubts about regaining his physical abilities, but now he uses that as fuel for his recovery. "You have to allow yourself to think that, because it keeps you on edge. It keeps you motivated. It keeps you strong," he said. "I think for me, once I started hearing everybody else say, 'Well, maybe this is it. Maybe this is too much' -- that's what really gave me the determination to see if I can prove them wrong." While he may not play more than another couple of more years, he didn't want an injury to end his career. "You want to be able to go out on your own terms. You don't want to be forced out of the game because of an injury," he said. "You want to feel like when you're leaving the game, you're leaving because you want to." Meanwhile, the Lakers are waiting to see if Dwight Howard re-signs as a free agent in July. "It's a big summer for us. We don't know what direction we're going yet but one thing I know about the Laker organization is that they're very committed to making sure that we have a team that's on the floor that's a competitive team to win a championship," said Bryant. "Which direction that's going to be, whether it's with Dwight or not? I don't know. We'll just have to see." If Howard returns and with the addition of some youth, length and defensive ability on the perimeter, Bryant is confident the Lakers can compete next year. "We need a couple of younger legs, long guys that can defend and can cover the floor on the perimeter," he said. "If we do that, I think we'll be all right."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pacman Jones suspended for Week 1 of upcoming season

Stenson had rental home robbed at Open Championship

Parole board member at O.J. Simpson hearing purposely wore Chiefs tie

Report: Carmelo would waive $8M trade kicker for Rockets

Report: Rangers shopping Yu Darvish in trade talks

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Floyd Mayweather dating former reality TV star Abi Clarke?

UFC denies that Brock Lesnar has re-entered drug testing pool

Hugh Freeze resigns amid reports he contacted escort service

Dodgers reportedly ‘in the mix’ for top left-handed relievers

Did LeBron troll the world with Ben Simmons birthday tweet?

O.J. Simpson granted parole, will be released in October

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Every NFL team’s biggest question as training camps start

Box Score 7/20: Nothing but Nolan

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

Every MLB team's biggest need at the trade deadline

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

The 'Youth in baseball is cyclical' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker