Even though Kobe Bryant kept insisting that he had every intention to return to an NBA court this season, the Los Angeles Lakers have now issued a statement that the Black Mamba will be out for the rest of the 2013-14 campaign.
Kobe Bryant won’t be back on the court for the Lakers this season.
The Lakers said Bryant was examined Wednesday by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo, who determined that the injury that has kept Bryant out of the lineup still hasn’t healed. Bryant is recovering from a fractured lateral tibial plateau of his left knee.
Bryant issued a statement through the team saying that this has been a disappointing and frustrating season. He added, “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.”
There is no doubt that this is the right move for the Lakers and Kobe, regardless of whether his knee is fully healed. Bryant returned for a short stint following his devastating Achilles’ tendon tear, before suffering his knee injury. When you are getting up there in age and face gruesome injuries such as these, it’s significantly better to sit out for a longer period of time, especially when your team’s direction this season is the lottery and not the playoffs.
Bryant did sign a two-year extension earlier in the year, so protecting that investment moving forward is obviously of importance to the Lakers.