Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who is recovering from a fractured lateral tibial plateau of his left knee, was examined today by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo, who determined that Bryant’s injury has still not healed. With this diagnosis, Bryant will not return to play this season, it was announced today by the team.
“With Kobe’s injury still not healed, the amount of time he’d need to rehab and be ready to play, and the amount of time remaining in the season, we’ve simply run out of time for him to return,” said Athletic Trainer Gary Vitti. “However, Kobe will have the entire offseason to heal, rehab and prepare, and we look forward to him being 100% for the start of next season.”
“Obviously this has been a frustrating and disappointing season, but I appreciate all the support I’ve received from the Lakers and the fans, and look forward to being back and ready for the start of training camp,” said Bryant.
According to ESPN.com News Services, “In all, Bryant played six games this season, averaging 13.8 points, 6.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 42.5 percent shooting from the field. The Lakers are 22-42, tied for the worst record in the Western Conference. Los Angeles signed Bryant to a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension in November. The five-time NBA champion called his recovery “a slow process” during a news conference in New Orleans at All-Star Weekend last month.”
Also according to ESPN.com News Services, “The Lakers still must pay Bryant his entire $30.453 million salary for the 2013-14 season, and an insurance policy will cover only 15.6 percent of it ($4.75 million). After a player misses 41 consecutive games because of an injury, the league’s insurance policy kicks in. Starting with the 42nd game, the insurance pays for 80 percent of the player’s salary for games missed.”