Posted December 19, 2013

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant sidelined six weeks after suffering fracture in left knee

Ben Golliver, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant has made six appearances so far this season. (Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Lakers announced Thursday that Kobe Bryant will miss six weeks after suffering a fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee. If Bryant is sidelined exactly six weeks, he will be out for L.A.’s next 21 games with an expected return date in the last week of January.

“Broken, not beaten,” Bryant tweeted Thursday.

The five-time champion has appeared in only six games this season after rehabilitating from a torn left Achilles tendon that ended his 2012-13 season in mid-April. He made his season debut on Dec. 8 against the Raptors, just 11 days ago.

“You hate it for Kobe,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s worked so hard to get back.”

L.A. was 10-9 before Bryant’s return and 2-4 since. The 15-time All-Star guard is averaging 13.8 points, 6.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 5.7 turnovers in 29.5 minutes this season.

RELATED: Nike unveils latest “Kobe 9″ sneaker

The injury occurred during L.A.’s 96-92 victory over Memphis on Tuesday. With a little more than three minutes remaining in the third quarter, Bryant fell to the court and clutched his left knee after backing down Tony Allen in the post. There didn’t appear to be any direct contact to his knee on the play, and Bryant returned to the game following the injury. He finished with 21 points (on 9-for-18 shooting), five rebounds and four assists.

“I twisted it a little bit, it’s a little stiff right now,” Bryant told TWC SportsNet during a post-game interview. “I was a little uncertain of it in the fourth quarter. All in all, my body felt pretty good considering the schedule.”

Bryant, 35, was the Western Conference’s second-leading vote-getter in the first round of All-Star returns, and he’s penciled in as a starter for the game. His recovery timeline suggests that he will be back on the court roughly two weeks before the All-Star Game, which will be held on Feb. 16 in New Orleans. However, Bryant will miss the Lakers’ highly-anticipated Christmas Day showdown with the Heat.

The Lakers are currently coping without Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake due to various injuries. D’Antoni will make due in the short-term with the likes of Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson, Nick Young and Xavier Henry in his backcourt. Henry, a fourth-year guard who has averaged 9.6 points and 2.6 rebounds this season, is expected to move into Bryant’s starting spot. L.A. also announced Thursday that Nash, who hasn’t played since Nov. 10, will be out at least four more weeks.

Back in November, Bryant signed a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension that ensured he will be the league’s highest-paid player through the 2015-16 season.

Video via YouTube user NBATV | Quote via YouTube user NBALakersNation

47 comments
RandyHayes
RandyHayes

Good luck with no real point guards and an owner that's the Jerry Jones of the NBA

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

Losing Captain turnover will only help the lakers.

mickey56
mickey56

Who really cares ! It's just the NBA where no team plays both ends of the court until the playoffs, save for perhaps the Spurs. Before anyone jumps down my throat, I am neither a Spurs fan or for that matter a current NBA fan. If they played some defense with as much passion as they have for shooting 3's, looking for ESPN dunk opportunities and mugging for the camera, I would watch regular season games instead of waiting for the playoffs to watch a semblance of the real deal.

playemball
playemball

lmao..48 mil, I said when he returned with his age, it wouldn't be long for another injury..never expected what..6 games back?..geez

nutz4golf
nutz4golf

Can you believe that this is a CNN front page article.

Please Give me a break.

DavidHarte
DavidHarte

The Lakers were idiots to give this old man a nickel.  Lil'Buss just trashed his team for the next five years, and LA fans will not put up with this stupidity.  That place will be a morgue in record time.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Does this mean that Kobe will give some of that money back?

TOperspective
TOperspective

Boy that 48M contract is sure looking good about now.  So is Pau back on the trading block?  If Buss was smart he'd try to move up in the lottery.  Unfortunately, he has no idea what he's doing.

mallen3181
mallen3181

True! Because the players did have a better chemistry before Kobe had returned.


Lohikaarme
Lohikaarme

The chances for the Lakers to make the playoff have increased.

mallen3181
mallen3181

This almost feels like another sad situation like what happened to D Rose.

sportsGuy12
sportsGuy12

"And the Lakers wanted me to come back to this?"- Dwight Howard

laclipperzfan
laclipperzfan

Jim Buss should add another 2 years to his deal to show his loyalty to Kobe.  It'll be just as romantic as when those musicians continued playing while the Titanic sank.

GrahamStrouse
GrahamStrouse

The Lakers still have a potential lottery pick this year, right?

NeoSmith
NeoSmith

Great job Jim!  You signed an aging veteran to the max deal when no one was going to pay Kobe even close to that type of money.  Besides the train wreck that is D'Antoni and the mis-handling of Dwight Howard and now Pau Gasol, what else can you screw up?!!

RebeccaHardman
RebeccaHardman

he has worked SO HARD to come back and now this!?

GUY CANT CATCH A BREAK! no pun intended

airmjbsanders
airmjbsanders

Knee injury on the same leg where he tore his ACL in April.  Hum, methinks the 2 may be related!


What's really messed up here is that KB shouldn't have come back until after the AS break AT THE EARLIEST anyway!  The only reason he came back this month was so he could warm up for the X-Mas day game vs the Heat.  I just don't get givin a 35y.o. player a fat extension while runnin him into the ground like No D Antoni & Jim Bust are.  SMGDH...

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

again this is a blessing in disguise as they were better and improving without kobe and kept there heads above water

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

Needs to go on that steroid rehab program like his idol MJ.

AleksandarSpasevski
AleksandarSpasevski

he could have just retired and still be one of basketball greats, i can't see him doing anything special till the end of his career except for making serious dough. the lakers backcourt right now ... http://wp.me/p49gAF-77

x72
x72

LMAO. Best news I've heard all day.

Herroldo
Herroldo

That contract extension is looking pretty darn awful for the Lakers right now.

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

lol this is hilarious. Just retire already you overrated bum.

priteshd
priteshd

May be blessing in disguise. As soon as Kobe came, again there was identity crisis. Going to miss farmar, blake he plays well under Dantoni. Except Gasol we are missing a size. We are definitely missing point guard too. Asik &/ Jeremy are available get them!

clsteiner67
clsteiner67

Jim Buss took a big risk giving Kobe the crazy contract without waiting for him to come back and evaluate his health and physical limitations.  Future of franchise doesn't look good with that kind of decision making. 

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

It's a contest.  Will Nash or Kobe play more games for the Lakers this year?

esgalan2
esgalan2

@mickey56So very true.... Well I guess that is what you get for playing 82 games in order to eliminate only half of the field....

ITATTRACTS
ITATTRACTS

@nutz4golf I believe it as much as I believe you think CNN is an important news organization. 

esgalan2
esgalan2

@DavidHarteThe place will be filled with people coming to be able to say " I saw Kobe Bryant play live !" to their co workers the following week.....

TOperspective
TOperspective

@mallen3181The difference is that Rose was entering his prime while Kobe was way, way past.  These things happen to old players.

OK
OK

@Herroldo 

Da Alleged Rapist be sucking up all that cap space in La-La Land - soon to be renamed Clipper Country.

NeoSmith
NeoSmith

@priteshdSorry, but you've got nothing worth anything to trade.  That's how sorry the Lakers are.

Dee7
Dee7

@OK

Another bandwagon Clipper fan. 

OK
OK

@Dee7

Nah, I just despise Da Alleged Rapist and the mindless sycophants that admire and defend Da Alleged Rapist.