Report: Kobe Bryant undergoes knee procedure

Kobe Bryant has undergone a procedure in Germany to try to

strengthen his arthritic right knee, according to a report.

Citing four unidentified sources familiar with the situation,

The Los Angeles Times on Friday reported that the Lakers superstar

had a procedure about a month ago that is a derivation of

platelet-rich plasma therapy. The Times says PRP procedures are

less invasive than many surgeries involving the knee.

Bryant, who turns 33 next month, has been bothered in recent

seasons by an arthritic joint in his right knee. He has undergone

three other knee procedures since 2003, including surgery last July

to remove unspecified loose bodies.

Bryant sat out a majority of the Lakers’ practices this past

season and saw his scoring, shooting percentage and minutes

decrease in his 15th NBA season. He has three years and $83.5

million left on his contract with the Lakers.

Bryant declined to comment to the Times.

The Lakers cited the lockout, which prevents teams from

discussing players, in declining to comment Friday on Bryant’s

reported knee procedure.

In the PRP procedure, which takes about an hour, a small amount

of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm and spun in a centrifuge

for about 20 minutes to isolate platelets. With guidance from

ultrasound, the platelets are then injected into the injured area

to try to stimulate tissue repair.

Tennis star Rafael Nadal, golfer Tiger Woods and Pittsburgh

Steelers receiver Hines Ward reportedly have undergone PRP

treatments for their knees.

Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com