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Lakers guard Kobe Bryant out 6-9 months following surgery

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will be out for up to nine months following surgery to repair the Achilles tendon in his left leg, the team announced.

The surgery will be performed at 1pm Pacific Time today and Lakers trainer Gary Vitti said that Bryant suffered a 3rd degree tear of the tendon, meaning it has to be sewn back together.

Bryant was injured with 3:08 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' 118-116 victory over the Golden State Warriors while being guarded by the Warriors guard Harrison Barnes. Bryant had played every minute of the game up to that point, scoring 32 points.

"I made a move that I make a million times and it just popped. I was just hoping it wasn't what I knew it was," Bryant said after the game. "Just trying to walk it off, hoping that the sensation would come back, but no such luck."

Bryant, in his 17th season, averaged 27.3 points a game and the Lakers are still a game up on the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference with two games remaining.

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