Kobe Bryant is traveling to Germany to have platelet-rich plasma therapy on his right knee, Yahoo! Sports reported.
Bryant went to Germany for a knee procedure similar to PRP in July 2011, a year after undergoing surgery to remove bone fragments from his knee. Three months later, according to the Los Angeles Times, he returned to Germany for PRP-type treatment on his right ankle.
Earlier Thursday, the Lakers announced that Bryant has left the country for an undisclosed medical procedure unrelated to his recovery from Achilles tendon surgery. The team wouldn't say where Bryant was going. He is expected to return next week. "No concern whatsoever," coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters.
Here's how Sports Illustrated described PRP therapy in a 2010 story:
In PRP therapy, which was pioneered over the last decade by Dr. Allan Mishra of the Stanford University Medical Center, about two tablespoons of a patient's blood are removed and put through a centrifuge. This creates a concentrated dose of soft-tissue-healing platelets that is then reinjected into the patient [at the site of an injury]. In part because no red blood cells are reinjected, PRP treatments are not considered blood doping.
The Lakers haven't disclosed a timetable for Bryant's return from his Achilles injury. Bryant on Wednesday took the court at training camp for the first time.
"He just keeps progressing," D'Antoni said Wednesday, according to ESPN Los Angeles. "He was out today shooting a little bit and jogging. He just keeps getting better."
Bryant, 35, is entering the final year of a contract that will pay him an NBA-high $30.5 million. The five-time champion and 15-time All-Star needs just 676 points to move past Michael Jordan for the No. 3 spot on the all-time scoring list. The Lakers open the regular season against the Clippers on Oct. 29.