Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has been diagnosed with a complete tear of the radial collateral ligament, an avulsion fracture, and a volar plate injury at the MCP joint of the small finger of this right hand, it was announced today. The damage occurred when Bryant dislocated the finger in the Lakers’ game at New Jersey on February 5, and was aggravated in last night’s game at Minnesota.

Bryant was examined today in Los Angeles by Dr. Steven Shin, a hand specialist with the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Group.

Dr. Shin has recommended surgery to repair the ligament, which would cause Bryant to miss approximately six weeks.

“My current thinking is to give my finger some treatment and rest for a few days, and hope I can still continue to compete at a high level after that rest,” said Bryant. “I would prefer to delay any surgical procedure until after our Lakers season, and this summer’s Olympic Games. But, this is an injury that myself and the Lakers’ medical staff will just have to continue to monitor on a day-to-day basis.”