The Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday received news that an MRI revealed that Kobe Bryant would miss at least the next six weeks with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee.
He suffered the injury in the third quarter of Tuesday’s 96-92 win on the road against the Memphis Grizzles. Bryant was down on the court for several moments after he was initially injured, but he did not leave the game as he would later hit a deep 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to help the Lakers defeat the Grizzles. He would finish the game with a season-high 21 points on 9-0f-18 shooting, five rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes played.
This injury comes just 11 days after Bryant made his season debut on Dec. 8 against the Toronto Raptors, and was only able to play in six games with the Lakers, who went 2-4 during that stretch, as he averaged 13.8 points on 43 percent shooting from the field to go along with 6.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 5.7 turnovers in 29.5 minutes per game.
Bryant’s injury could not have come at a worse time for the Lakers as they are without a healthy point guard on their roster with Steve Nash, Steve Blake, and Jordan Farmar all out with injuries. But despite the disheartening news of another setback for the 15-time All-Star, he remained optimistic about the situation.
“All I can do is do the work. And do everything I can to be back at the highest level,” Bryant told ESPN.
Bryant on Thursday also took Twitter after he found about the severity of the injury.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) December 19, 2013
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 20, 2013
Feel bad for Kobe..
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) December 19, 2013
Kobe can’t catch a break.
— Mario Chalmers (@mchalmers15) December 19, 2013
— Xavier Henry (@XavierHenry) December 19, 2013
The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.
— Robert Sacre (@Bobby_Sacre) December 20, 2013
Bryant would later tweet out his appreciation of the support he received from his fellow peers.
Thank you my fellow nba brothers for all the luv and support #Respect
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) December 20, 2013
Bryant’s latest injury adds another bind on this Lakers’ team that has been inconsistent this season as their current 12-13 record puts them at 11th place in the Western Conference. Los Angeles without the 35-year-old was able to stay afloat with a 10-9 record.
As for the Lakers replicating that type of success, Pau Gasol tweeted about the tough task at hand as he is confident that he along with his teammates will get through the next several weeks without Bryant.
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) December 20, 2013
Nonetheless, Bryant’s injury sparks questions about whether the Lakers star returned too soon, and about the possibility of keeping him out for the remainder of the season if the team struggles mightily in his absence. But with that said, it will be hard not to believe that Bryant won’t return this season once he has fully healed from his injury.
“That’s too bad,” coach Mike D’Antoni said at the team’s practice Thursday. “You hate it for Kobe. He worked so hard to get back. But he’ll be back. He’ll be back in six weeks, and we’ll deal with it and weather the storm until he gets back.”
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