The Lakers announced Tuesday that Kobe Bryant will be sidelined for at least three more weeks due to a left knee injury.
The 35-year-old Bryant has missed L.A.'s last 21 games, and a three-week timeline will force him to miss at least seven additional games. The new recovery timeline seemingly rules out Bryant for the All-Star Game in New Orleans, which is set for Feb. 16, now less than three weeks away.
Bryant was voted into the Western Conference's starting lineup, even though he repeatedly lobbied for fans to vote for younger, more deserving players. If and when Bryant is officially scratched, the NBA will select a roster replacement and the West's coach will determine who replaces Bryant in the starting lineup.
The five-time champion suffered a fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee during a Dec. 17 game against the Grizzlies. The Lakers pegged his initial rehabilitation time at six weeks, but said Tuesday that he continues to experience pain and swelling. Bryant will proceed with non-weight bearing exercises over the next three weeks, and the Lakers noted that his work will mostly consist of riding a stationary bike.
Bryant appeared in just six games for the Lakers after missing training camp, the preseason and the opening portion of the 2013-14 regular season as he recovered from a torn Achilles.
The Lakers are 16-29 this season, tied for the second-worst record in the Western Conference. L.A. was 2-10 over its last 12 games entering Tuesday's action.
Back in November, Bryant signed a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension that ensured he will be the league’s highest-paid player through the 2015-16 season.