Kobe to begin program next week

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Kobe Bryant has been cleared to resume running and shooting and will begin an intense, six-month training program next week upon his return from a short family trip to Europe, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

Bryant has been ramping up his activity level in recent weeks as he continues to recover from a fracture in his left knee suffered during the Lakers' victory Dec. 17 at Memphis, just six games into his return from a ruptured Achilles.

While he is in Europe, Bryant will visit the clinic in Germany where he had the platelet-rich plasma treatment known as Orthokineon on his knee, according to a source.

The visit to the clinic is a check-up to ensure all is structurally sound with his knee before he resumes intense training.

Bryant has rarely traveled with the team or appeared in public since, preferring to focus on his rehabilitation instead of a team wrapping up the worst season in Lakers history. He vented his frustrations with the team's struggles when he was declared out for the season in mid-March. He made his feelings known on Twitter on Wednesday:

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Bryant has already departed for France. The Lakers conclude their season Wednesday in San Antonio.

Bryant is due back in Los Angeles this weekend and will begin intense training designed to have him fully recovered by the start of training camp in October, according to sources. The trip is a short anniversary getaway.

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