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.