Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott said he doesn't expect Kobe Bryant to retire after injuring his shoulder on Wednesday. Bryant, 36, tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder during Wednesday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Lakers have not announced if Bryant will need surgery or a timetable for his return, though ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reports the team expects him to miss the remainder of the season.
Byron predicting successful return for Kobe if he needs surgery: "I know he doesn't want to go out this way."— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 23, 2015
Scott also said he texted Bryant to apologize for playing him extended minutes to start the season, and Bryant responded by telling him not to worry about it, according to Bresnahan.
In the first 27 games of the season, Bryant averaged 24.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 35.5 minutes per game. He then sat out a week to rest his body. The team also decided he would sit out at least half of every back-to-back set for the rest of the season.
Bryant has suffered season-ending injuries each of the last two seasons, a torn Achilles in April 2013 and a fractured knee in December 2013.
The Lakers have the fourth-worst record in the league at 12-31 this season.
- Paul Palladino