this Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, file photo, Los
Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) drives with
the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball
game in New Orleans. The team announced Bryant's
surgery Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, to repair his torn
rotator cuff. The surgery has been scheduled for
Wednesday morning. A timeline estimate for
Bryant’s return will be issued following the
SEGUNDO, Calif. — Kobe Bryant is officially done for the
season after having surgery to repair his torn right
rotator cuff Wednesday.
Angeles Lakers also made it official that their superstar
doesn't believe his career is finished.
expected to need nine months to recover from his third
straight season-ending injury. If Bryant meets that
timetable, he could return to basketball shortly before
the start of the 2015-16 season — and the Lakers expect
to see him in purple and gold again.
ElAttrache and Steve Lombardo performed the two-hour
surgery at the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los
expect Kobe to make a full recovery, and if all goes as
expected, he should be ready for the start of the
season," ElAttrache said in a statement provided by
Lakers formally declared Bryant out for the year by
acknowledging the expected recovery time from his injury,
but also effectively confirmed he won't retire and will
attempt to play his 20th season in the fall. Bryant, who
will be 37 years old this summer, is the NBA's
highest-paid player at $23.5 million this season, and he
is under contract for $25 million next year.
my mind right now, he's coming back next year, unless he
tells me something different," coach Byron Scott said
at practice Wednesday.
already had acknowledged Bryant was highly unlikely to
play again this season for the flailing Lakers (12-34),
who will match their franchise record for futility if they
lose their 10th consecutive game when the Chicago Bulls
visit Thursday. But if Los Angeles finishes with a
top-five draft pick, the club won't have to give its
first-round choice to Phoenix until next year to complete
its brutal trade for Steve Nash in 2012.
hurt his right shoulder while dunking last week in New
Orleans, deciding on surgery shortly afterward. He is the
third-leading scorer in league history and a five-time NBA
averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 35
games, but made a career-worst 37.3 percent of his shots
in a wildly inconsistent 19th season. He also passed
Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA's career scoring
list, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone.
popularity hasn't waned during his injury-plagued stretch.
He was voted to the All-Star game for the 17th time this
month, and he is still the Lakers' public face despite his
recent prolonged absences from the court.
missed the 2013 playoffs after tearing his Achilles tendon
late in the regular season, and he played in just six
games last season before breaking a bone near his left
knee. Although he has played through innumerable injuries
in the past, the accumulated wear from nearly two decades
in the NBA has caught up to him.
sat out eight games to rest in the past month, and he
played under a strict minutes limit. It wasn't enough to
protect him from another major injury.
joins Nash, first-round pick Julius Randle and swingman
Xavier Henry with season-ending injuries already for the