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Off-season knee surgery may be in Kobe Bryant's future

Jun 4, 2010, 2:31 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Kobe_Face.jpgKobe Bryant isn’t going to talk about it. He gets a bit surly during the playoffs, the media questions are just another distraction in his way. And he doesn’t talk about chinks in the armor on the best of days.

But USA Basketball’s Jerry Colangelo told the New York Post that he doesn’t expect Kobe to play this summer at the FIBA World Championships in Turkey.

“He could very well have surgery after the playoffs,” Colangelo said.

Kobe has had what was described as tendonitis but clearly was a little more than that for a while with his knee. It was bothering him in the early rounds of the playoffs, but after having fluid drained out of it he went on a tear. That included dropping 30 on the Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA finals Thursday.

A lot of people around the Lakers did not expect Kobe to play the World Championships this summer. After three straight long seasons that have ended in the NBA finals, his body could use the rest.

Now it’s apparent he may need more than just rest.

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