Saturday April 13th, 2013

Kobe Bryant met with reporters on Friday night after suffering what the Lakers called a "probable torn left Achilles" tendon.

Addressing the injury directly after the Lakers' 118-116 victory over the Warriors, Bryant said he won't be able to play through the pain because he "can't walk" and spoke openly about the need for surgery.

"I made a move I've made a million times and it popped," Bryant said, calling the injury "by far" the biggest disappointment of his career.

The Lakers, fighting for the Western Conference's No. 8 playoff seed, have just two games remaining in their regular season.

"It's just [expletive] luck," he said. "I was pissed and sad [walking off the court], we worked really hard to get to this point. I was pissed."

Bryant, 34, has been unbelievably durable during his 17-year NBA career, playing more than 45,000 regular season minutes and more than 8,000 playoff minutes.

"I've never really had to deal with something like this," he said. "This is a new experience for me. ... I was tired in the locker room, sad, dejected. Thinking about this mountain, man, to overcome. This is a long process. I wasn't sure I could do it. Then your kids walk in and you've got to set an example. Daddy is going to be fine, I'm going to do it. Work hard and go from there."

The recovery timeline could easily carry well into the 2013-14 season, the final year of Bryant's current contract. However, he said he was determined to use any talk that this could be a career-altering or career-ending injury as motivation for his recovery.

"It's fueling me," Bryant said. "I can feel it already. Players at this stage of their career pop an Achilles and the pundits say they'll never come back the same. I can hear it already. It's pissing me off right now just thinking about it." Video via YouTube user firstandskol | Hat tip: @CJZero

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