The Los Angeles Lakers expect guard Kobe Bryant to miss the rest of the season after tearing his rotator cuff on Wednesday. Bryant, 36, tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder during Wednesday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans. He finished the game and made a left-handed fadeaway jump shot in the fourth quarter.
Shelburne reports the Lakers are still awaiting a final decision about Bryant's status for the rest of the season from the doctor.
A report from USA TODAY Sports on Friday afternoon said that Bryant will not make a decision on whether to undergo season-ending surgery until Monday.
After the game, Bryant said he wasn't worried about the injury.
“I’ve played with a torn labrum, so I’m not too concerned," Bryant said after Wednesday's game, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I'm not too concerned about it. We make a lot of it, but the reality is I'm doing some pretty phenomenal things in 30 minutes [a game]."
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. He tore his Achilles in April 2013 and fractured his knee in December 2013.
The Lakers have the fourth-worst record in the league at 12-31 this season.
- Paul Palladino