Kobe Bryant didn’t want to play in the All-Star Game, but this is not why.
Kobe will be out at least three more weeks, the team announced Tuesday night. He has a fractured lateral tibial plateau — the top of the shin bone where it connects to the knee — and this is not something where he can just play through the pain (like he did with a broken finger), the bone has to heal before he can run. That means no All-Star Game for Bryant.
All he can do is ride the stationary bike, and as you might expect he’s pretty sick of it, he told the Los Angeles Times.
“I’m ready to throw the bike in the damn pool right about now.” he said, “But you do what you got to do.”
He admitted this injury has him out of sorts.
“[I’m] down about it,” Bryant said following the team’s 104-92 loss to the Pacers….
“It’s like an internal swelling,” he said. “It’s different. It’s not something that’s kind of on the surface where you can pinpoint and feel the swelling around. It’s deep in there.”
There will be calls for Kobe to shut it down for the season, even from a Lakers fan base where a portion of it has come around to the idea the team should tank the rest of this season and get a high draft pick in what is expected to be the best draft in a decade (as of today the Lakers would be the sixth pick, before the lottery).
That’s not how Kobe is wired. He will fight to get back on the court this season.
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But that’s going to be a while. Kobe will be re-evaluated in three weeks, but even if cleared to resume some level of basketball activity he will have conditioning and other training before he is back on the court.