NBA

Kobe says recovery is slow but that he's locked in to play again

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant dribbles the ball as he is guarded by Toronto Raptors' Landry Fields, left.
Kobe Bryant thought the doctor was joking about his latest injury.
Share This Story

   
 

LOS ANGELES (AP)

Kobe Bryant wasn't happy about spending Christmas Day on the sideline, unable to help the struggling Los Angeles Lakers.

It's a place he's unaccustomed to being on the holiday. Bryant leads the NBA with a record 15 appearances on Christmas Day, but he's out an expected four to six weeks with a fracture in his left knee.

''It's strange to be coming in on Christmas and not playing,'' he said before the Lakers' 101-95 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday. ''It's a foreign feeling, but I'm here to support my guys.''

LeBron James and Co. have won six in a row, and Lakers have dropped three straight.

Bryant's injury was diagnosed last week, his second major one of the season.

He didn't play his first game until Dec. 8 after nearly eight months away while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. Then he got hurt again Dec. 17 at Memphis while playing his fourth game in five nights.

''I was fortunate that it was not a meniscus,'' he said.

Initially, Bryant didn't think he was seriously hurt against Memphis. He went down late in the third quarter, but returned to finish out the victory in which he logged a season-high 21 points in 32 minutes.

''I didn't know it was fractured,'' he said. ''I was expecting a bone bruise more than anything else. I thought (the doctor) was joking when he told me.''

Bryant has been limited to riding a bike; he isn't supposed to put any pressure on his knee.

''It's just been slow in terms of laying off it and letting it heal,'' he said. ''When you don't have activity, you got to watch the other parts like nutrition.''

Typical of Bryant's attention to detail, he said he has been reading critical comments that suggest he won't return this season.

''It's the same old tune, just being sung a little more loudly now,'' he said. ''These type of things just help me lock in more.''

Asked if there's any chance he won't be back, Bryant replied, ''Not that I'm aware of.''

Los Angeles signed the 35-year-old guard to a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension in November.

James, along with other NBA players, tweeted out well wishes to Bryant, although the two superstars haven't talked.

NBA STANDINGS

Is your team at the top? Check out the division standings.

''Especially games like today, you want to have the best guys out there,'' James said.

After the Achilles injury, Bryant expressed rare self-doubt. He hasn't felt any this time.

''The knee is not really a concern to me,'' he said. ''The biggest question was would the Achilles respond to my game. It felt fine. It was strong.''

Bryant was looking forward to playing against the defending NBA champions as a way to see where he was physically with his Achilles.

''This was a really big measuring stick,'' he said.

Instead, he sat at the end of the bench wearing a black suit and print T-shirt. He sat on a chair with extra inches of padding, likely to take stress off his left knee.

''My spirits are fine,'' he said. ''I feel more locked in now than my entire career.''

Tagged: Lakers, Heat, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..