Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reacts from the bench
during the first half of an NBA basketball game
against the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday in New
Orleans. The Pelicans won 96-80.
- Kobe Bryant's torn right rotator cuff will be re-examined
Monday before the Los Angeles Lakers decide whether the
superstar guard needs potentially season-ending surgery.
examined Friday in Los Angeles after the third-leading
scorer in NBA history tore his rotator cuff Wednesday in New
know it's a tear, but we don't know to what degree,"
coach Byron Scott said Friday in San Antonio. "Monday
we'll find out if he's going to have surgery or not. That's
disappointing in of itself. We know we're going to miss him
for a length of time, we just don't know how long yet."
completely torn rotator cuff typically requires surgery and
several months of rehabilitation, which means Bryant's 19th
NBA season could be over. Bryant's previous two seasons also
ended early due to injuries.
tear sometimes can be managed while an athlete continues to
play, but the Lakers have declined to specify the severity
of Bryant's tear.
clear the 36-year-old Bryant has a major injury for the
third straight season, his famously resilient body finally
wearing down from the accumulated grind of nearly two
decades with the Lakers and numerous long postseason runs.
He tore his
Achilles tendon in April 2013, and he played in just six
games last season before breaking a bone near his left knee.
one of the toughest guys I've ever been around as far as
dealing with injuries and things like that, and being able
to come back," Scott said after the Lakers' morning
shootaround in San Antonio. "Everybody said he was done
after the Achilles, and he came back pretty strong. Knowing
him the way I know him, I know he doesn't want to go out
this way. I think he will rehab it if that's the case, and
then we'll wait and see."
physician Steve Lombardo confirmed the initial diagnosis and
discussed treatment options with Bryant on Friday. Bryant
will be examined again by Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan Jobe
Orthopaedic Clinic on Monday, and they'll decide whether
Bryant should have surgery.
joked about the injury on his Twitter account Friday:
"This is what happens when I pass too much!"
injured while throwing down a two-handed dunk in the Lakers'
loss to the Pelicans. He traveled home before the Lakers
played at San Antonio on Friday night.
sat out eight games in the last month to rest, so the
struggling Lakers (12-31) have grown used to playing without
their top scorer.
shoulder pain at the beginning of the season, but hadn't
mentioned it lately. The Lakers believe Bryant's torn
rotator cuff occurred on the dunk.
said, 'Are you all right?'" Scott recalled. "He
was like, 'Yeah, I'm good, just bothering me a little bit.
Once I get warmed up, I'm fine.' After that point, I never
thought about it."
the Lakers rested Bryant extensively this season to preserve
the wear on his high-mileage body, Scott still laments
playing Bryant for too many minutes in early-season games.
Bryant has been on a strict 32-minute limit over the past
repeatedly have said they're determined to preserve Bryant's
health into next season, when he is due to make $25 million.
Los Angeles has struggled on the court for two straight
seasons, but Bryant remains one of the world's most popular
athletes, with his presence essentially guaranteeing a
sellout in arenas across North America.
the NBA's highest-paid player at $23.5 million this season.