Jul 1, 2011, 11:04 AM EDT
Kobe Bryant’s knees are not good. He sat out practices most of last season to rest them (which might have helped cause his team’s poor execution under pressure in the playoffs). But he is getting close to bone-on-bone and there is only so much the doctors can do.
At the time Lakers trainer Gary Vitti said he and Bryant had scoured the globe looking for treatments. There were not kidding, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has taken an unusual step to try to strengthen his ailing right knee, undergoing an innovative procedure in Germany about a month ago, according to four people familiar with the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly.
The treatment is a derivation of platelet-rich plasma therapy. PRP procedures are less invasive than many surgeries involving the knee and are viewed as either an emerging solution to knee problems or a financial gamble on unproven science.
PRP uses the players own blood, with the platelets are spun out of the blood then injected directly into the injured area. It is believed that the platelets then help with healing. Maybe. Nobody really knows. Even doctors who back the procedure say they don’t really know how well it works or if it does, they just think it does. (Those crazy people demand more science — I say charge ahead without knowing! That’s how I want to live.)
What may help Kobe more is the Lakers exit from he playoffs in May rather than mid-June. More time to rest the knee. More time off for his body. For the sake of all of us though, I hope David Stern and Billy Hunter don’t make it too long a break.