Kobe Bryant’s knee has not been the problem this season. Which is a nice change of pace. Apparently flying all the way to Germany to have an experimental blood treatment done on his knee seems well worth the expense now.
Just don’t ask about the wrist. We’re not talking about the wrist.
Wait… what about trying that exotic version of platelet-rich plasma therapy Kobe had done in Germany on the torn ligaments in his wrist? It worked on his knee, it was good enough for Alex Rodriguez, and all joints are pretty much the same thing, right?
Kobe wants to try it on his wrist, he told Rick Riley of ESPN.
One solution he’s working on is finding somebody to come to L.A. and give him the same Orthokine therapy on his wrist that worked so well on his knee this offseason in Germany.
“I’m looking into that right now,” he says.
Would he have to miss games? It’s Kobe, so probably not.
Sounds painful. But more painful than having an injection before every game? Probably not.
Did anyone really expect a different answer?
Kobe Bryant downplayed his injury and told the media he would play on Sunday in the Lakers opener against the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day. Here are his quotes via the Los Angeles Daily News.
“I should be fine,” he said….
“It just swelled up,” he said. “It got real big. In the morning, it felt a little better and I tried practicing and I couldn’t do much. It still got worse. That’s why I knew we had something else going on. I’ll just try to take care of it. It’s always been in my nature to try to figure out a way to play.
“The injuries I’ve had I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to play through. I haven’t had injuries where it could get worse. I’ve had tears of ligaments and they’re just not there anymore, so it’s not like it’s going to get any worse. So, if you can play through the pain, if you can catch a basketball, you should be fine.”
Kobe said he would wear a padded brace during the game.
The question was never really if Kobe would play but how much the injury would impact his game. He has a torn lunotriquetral ligament, which stabilizes smaller bones on the outside of the wrist. On his shooting hand. Which means it’s going to hurt every time he shoots.
This is not the 2002 Kobe that attacks and gets his shots at the rim — last season Kobe averaged 20 shots per game and 16.5 of them came outside of three feet. Kobe is a jump shooter now. If this injury makes him a less effective jump shooter it hurts the Lakers.
Kobe his right, he has played through worse and adapted. He will adapt again. But at some point all these injuries on his shooting hand are going to add up and be an issue.
Another season, another injury in his shooting hand for Kobe Bryant to play through (and say it doesn’t bother him while his performance clearly shows otherwise).
Kobe will sit out Wednesday’s Lakers preseason game against the Clippers due to a torn lunotriquetral ligament in his right wrist, the team announced Wednesday afternoon. The injury occurred during a fall in the fourth quarter of the first Lakers preseason game against the Clippers and was discovered after an MRI. Kobe was seen grabbing his wrist late in the game but afterwards just shook it off as sore.
Officially, Kobe is listed as day-to-day. No word on if Kobe will be ready to go opening day against the Chicago Bulls, the team said it will depend both on the pain level and if Kobe can practice leading up to the game. But if you were going to bet against him going out there you should just drop that money in a Salvation Army bucket so at least it does some good.
Also remember that the Lakers start out the season with a back-to-back-to-back, so they will likely have to get Kobe and his wrist some rest in there somewhere.
The lunotriquetral ligament is not a large ligament, but provides stability to the small bones on the outside of the wrist. It can be a painful injury that takes weeks of immobility to heal properly, depending on the severity of the tear (we do not know that in this case). It does not require surgery.
Does anyone think Kobe is going to let it recover on its own timetable? No, Kobe will be out there as soon as he can and try to play through the pain. It’s what he does. But this will impact his game — last season Kobe took 16.5 shots from outside three feet per game (where he needed to use his wrist) and just 3.5 shots per game right at the rim. Kobe doesn’t attack and get the easy baskets at the rim anymore, he’s a jump shooter, so this injury could impact his shooting percentage going forward.
Look for this to linger — and add to the challenges the Lakers face at the start of the season.