Update 3.12.14 2:31 p.m. ET: The Lakers have made it official, Bryant is done for the season.
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.
Bleacher Report reports that the Lakers will announce this week that Kobe Bryant will not return this season from his knee injuries.
The words are about to become official.
Kobe Bryant, out for the season.
The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to declare Bryant out for the rest of the 2013-14 Lakers season later this week, according to team sources. Bryant is not accompanying the team on its trip to Oklahoma City and San Antonio, staying back to be reexamined by team doctor Steve Lombardo. And considering where Bryant's level of discomfort remains with the fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, barring an unforeseen change, the team will finalize the decision that Bryant will not play again this season.
The move shouldn't come as a surprise. Bryant was supposed to return at the end of January from his fractured tibia which came just six games after he returned from a torn Achilles. Since then he's repeatedly said that progress has been "slow" on the knee, and hasn't ever given an indication that he'll return.
With just five weeks left in the season, there's no real point in bringing him back, especially with the broken sewer line the Lakers have become.
So Bryant wil return next season, on a huge extension at an advanced age, and we'll have to see what kind of rabbit the Lakers can pull out of their hat to become competitive in the final two years of the Black Mamba's career (possibly).