Kobe Bryant reduced his workload and was no longer jogging in the 20-minute bursts that were hailed as progress a week ago.
"I was cranking it up the entire time I was in China. I've scaled back since just to let it heal up a little bit more and get a little more flexibility to it" he said Thursday.
The Lakers said it was normal the equivalent of pushing hard and then tapering off while Bryant recovers from Achilles' tendon surgery in April. The team declined to update his return timetable other than the initial one pegging his comeback between mid-October and mid-January.
It's safe to say Bryant won't be ready for the Lakers' season opener Tuesday against the Clippers.
Bryant also acknowledged tension with Dwight Howard his teammate for one unstable season until Howard bolted for Houston via free agency in July. They had an awkward coexistence never as acrimonious as the one Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal endured but never comfortable either.