Kobe Bryant broke a small bone in his finger on Friday. It remains to be seen what the outcome of the injury will be.

The AP reports:

Kobe Bryant scored 20 points while playing with a small break in his finger, and the Los Angeles Lakers wrapped up the generous portion of their schedule with their 11th straight victory, 104-92 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

Pau Gasol had 17 points and a career-high 20 rebounds for the defending champions, who improved the NBA’s best record to 18-3 while finishing a season-opening stretch with 17 of their first 21 games at home. Ron Artest scored 16 points and Lamar Odom added 13 for Los Angeles, which hasn’t lost since Nov. 15.

Yet the Lakers also got a scare when Bryant hurt the index finger on his right hand while reaching for a pass late in the first quarter. Bryant has an avulsion fracture, in which a small piece of bone tears away near a ligament or tendon.

”It’s pretty painful,” Bryant said. ”I just tried to play through it.”

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Bryant sustained an avulsion fracture in the index finger of his right hand but kept playing. The Lakers sustained a case of not taking the Timberwolves seriously but also kept playing on Friday, eventually winning their 11th consecutive game, 104-92.

An avulsion fracture occurs when a small fragment of bone is pulled off by a tendon, which apparently happened when Bryant took a slightly off-target entry pass from Jordan Farmar late in the first quarter.

He left briefly and returned for the start of the second quarter . . . sort of. He took one shot, passed the ball only with his left hand, and left near the quarter’s midpoint for X-rays down the hall from the locker room.

This is potentially a real problem. Bryant has already been playing hurt for a long time now, but this may be too much to tolerate. If Bryant has to miss time he should probably do it as immediately as possible and get it over with.