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Kobe Bryant is out six weeks with fracture in the left knee

Dec 19, 2013, 4:14 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

This is a punch to the gut. For the Lakers. And For Kobe Bryant.

Kobe will be out six weeks with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, the Lakers announced. That is the basically the flat part of the top of the shin where it connects to the bottom of the knee. It apparently does not need surgery.

Kobe had been back just six games following Achilles surgery on his left leg earlier this year.

This would mean a return likely around early February, maybe a little later (Kobe needs to give the bone time to heal then get his conditioning back up to get on the court).

The injury occurred against the Memphis Grizzlies, likely on a play where there was contact with Tony Allen as they fought for position (there was not any intent to injure, it should be noted). Immediately Kobe was grabbing his knee and clearly in pain after the play but he stayed in the game. Because he’s Kobe.

This is the same leg where he had his Achilles surgery. As so often happens in sports, especially with older athletes, an injury in one area leads to compensation and eventually issues in another area. It’s not that he came back too early, it just the way the body compensates for injuries.

In the short term this leaves the Lakers without a real point guard — Kobe joins Steve Blake, Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar all out with injuries. Farmar is the closest to return, he will be re-evaluated Dec. 24 and could potentially return Christmas Day against the Heat.

Long-term, the Lakers have to consider if they want to shed some talent — hello Pau Gasol — and essentially look at the lottery for this season. Without Kobe for another 20 plus games the Lakers are going to slip out of playoff contention in the West. That said, any moves the Lakers make would not impact their cap space the next two summers — they want the ability to be active in the free agent market.

  1. JHathwell - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    The highlight of these trolling comments of course is the tremendous irony in the idea that the contract extension kicks in next year, not this one. Just as everyone is calling the Lakers dumb for paying him before he returned, I will laugh at you now for judging the result of a contract that doesn’t even start until next season, by which Kobe will ostensibly recovered from this injury and ready to go.

    • chargerdillon - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:44 PM

      As a Lakers fan, i’d be happy you reminding me of this every time we get another injury report about Nash or Kobe.

      Mitch Kupchak and Jimmy boy this ones on you two.

      • JHathwell - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        Look, it’s a 6 week injury and likely was caused by him rushing back too soon. Hopefully he learns his lesson here and gives it some time to heal properly. The best case scenario for everyone here is to shut Kobe down for the year, make the lottery and cross your fingers.

    • 1historian - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:30 PM

      Next season he’ll be 36, he is starting to look prone to injury when he plays at his normal pace, and the lakers are paying him $24,000,000 a year starting next year and the year after that.

      That sounds like a good idea.

      • JHathwell - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:49 PM

        It is, financially speaking.

    • sportsfan18 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:35 PM

      well, no one knew this knee injury would happen so you should NOT be so sure that something else might not happen before the beginning of next season.

      counting your chicks before the eggs hatch.

      he could mess up a knee stepping into our out of his helicopter in late July.

      who knows?

      • JHathwell - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:53 PM

        you appear to have missed my point.

      • sportsfan18 - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:14 AM

        You had several points.

        You said the best case scenario is to shut Kobe down as it appeared his injury was due to rushing back too soon.

        Also, by shutting him down, you’re saying he’ll have more than enough time to heal before playing again.

        Also, by shutting him down, you said they could make the lottery and then take their chances (or cross their fingers as you wrote).

        MY POINT that you missed was that Kobe could injure himself in any way just before next season begins, in the bath tub, stepping into or out of his helicopter etc…

        No, I didn’t list but one way but my point was with injuries that one never knows.

        NONE of us knows whether Kobe will be healthy for the beginning of next season or not.

  2. omniusprime - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Welcome to the Over the Hill Gang, too many way too old to keep from being injured. Starting to remind me of MASH, everyone needs a doctor. Actually Kobe being out for 6 weeks might be a blessing in disguise, Kobe didn’t do much to help the team and wouldn’t you know it he gets injured in a game where he did okay.

    Only a total moron like Kurt Helin would suggest that Pau Gasol be put on the trading block instead of Trash Nash or Steve Flake, the real worthless garbage that haven’t helped the Lakers at all, just wasted Laker money and Laker fans’ hopes for a better season. Get a clue kurt, your knowledge of basketball is laughable and you wouldn’t know what a player is really worth, you’ve bought into the BS about players deserving millions for playing games. We’re all thankful that you’re a sports pundit, kurt, and not an airline pilot.

    Now if we can only get rid of the other piece of garbage holding the Lakers back, Dumbtoni. He’s not the coach we Laker fans are looking for. We want a coach who will get back to the tried and true Laker’s method of winning championships with a great center and frontline, poor Pau has no help from the rest of the putrid frontline and Dumbtoni is too stupid to know how to best utilize Pau.

    Keep Pau! Trade Trash Nash and Steve Flake! Fire Dumbtoni!

  3. reastnt - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    “this leaves the Lakers without a real point guard” – News flash: Kobe isn’t/wasn’t a real point guard, so their “real point guard” situation hasn’t changed.

  4. gogatorsjohn - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Credit to Kobe for wanting to come back being the competitor he is. I am not a Lakers fan by any stretch of the imagination but I can appreciate someone who is dedicating to his craft. Now, if they trade Gasol and get a lottery pick, the Lakers with Kobe and lets say Jabari Parker wouldn’t make them instant contenders. It would take time which Kobe doesn’t have. Unless they get one of the studs and get Kevin Love (don’t know when he is available to become free agent BUT then I could see them having a shot at 6.

  5. ninthwardfriend - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Pass the torch mr. Bryant

  6. sportfan2 - Dec 20, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    The guy has had a great career, he has done his part to help win many titles. Never been a Laker fan but wish him well in retirement.

  7. grizzlystrike - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    No doubt with such a corrupt league that the lakers will be awarded the number one pick even if they barely miss the playoffs

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