Sports Out West

Kobe Bryant injury: Likely out 6-9 months with torn Achilles

Photo by Wally Skallij / Los Angeles

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant will have surgery Saturday afternoon after a MRI confirmed his torn Achilles tendon in his left leg. He is expected to take 6-9 months to recover according to Lakers trainer Gary Vitti.

With 3:08 remaining in the fourth quarter, Bryant, who was guarded by Golden State Warriors rookie Harrison Barnes, made a move to his left as he attacked the basket. He fell to the ground and was unable to get back up under his own power. After asking Barnes if he kicked him in the leg, the rookie responded with a “no,” which justified Bryant’s fears of a major injury.

“I was just hoping it wasn’t what I knew it was,” Bryant said. “Just trying to walk it off, hoping that the sensation would come back, but no such luck.”

After making his free throws, he left the game for the first time. Up until the injury, Bryant had played in every minute of the game and was demonstrating fatigue given his heavy workload that night and in past games for the Lakers’ playoff push.

Recovering from surgery to repair a torn Achilles takes athletes three to 12 months. Bryant, 34, may possibly recover in time for the start of the 2013-14 season according to Vitti, who described his injury as a “complete rupture.”

“It’s gone,” Vitti said. “So it has to be sewn back together.”

Follow and interact with Austin Chang on Twitter @_austinchang.

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Austin Chang

Austin Chang is the Associate Editor of Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and RamsTalk. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.