It’s been a rough season for Kobe Bryant, and the Los Angeles Lakers superstar expressed his frustrations in a recent interview.
According to the L.A. Times, Bryant was downtrodden when he learned on Tuesday that he would be on the shelf for another three weeks with continued swelling and pain in his left knee.
The Lakers official site stated that Bryant was examined by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo before Tuesday’s loss to the Pacers, and rather than return in time for next month’s All-Star Game in New Orleans the 35-year-old will continue to heal and ride a stationary bike.
"[I'm] down about it," Bryant said to the Times after Tuesday’s loss to Indiana. "It's like an internal swelling. It's different. It's not something that's kind of on the surface where you can pinpoint and feel the swelling around. It's deep in there."
Bryant indicated he didn’t know ahead of the examination how well he had healed.
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"I didn't know what to expect," Bryant said. "It's an injury that I really can't measure, so I have no idea what it's supposed to feel like. It's tough. It never really hurt when I was walking on it in the first place, so it's tough to gauge it.
"I'm ready to throw the bike in the damn pool right about now." he said. "But you do what you got to do."
After recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered at the end of last season, Bryant fractured the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee in December and has been sidelined ever since.
Earning the fourth highest fan vote total, Bryant was selected to start his 15th career All-Star Game despite appearing in only six games this season for the injury-plagued Lakers.
Fans have come to expect much from Bryant during All-Star weekend as he’s one of only two players in NBA history to earn MVP honors four times.
However, it’s not all bad news for L.A., as point guards Steve Nash, Steve Blake, and Jordan Farmer returned to practice on Thursday, according to ESPN LA.
None will play in Friday’s matchup against the Charlotte Bobcats, but Nash could play in his first game since November next week against Minnesota.
Nerve damage that caused pain in his back and hamstrings has kept Nash out of all but six games as well this season, and the 39-year-old and current oldest player in the NBA has done little to keep the Lakers competitive since arriving last year from Phoenix, missing 108 of a possible 164 games.
Blake and Farmar could come back some time next as well, after rehabbing respective right elbow and left hamstring injuries.
Second-year guard Kendall Marshall has filled in more than amicably for the Lakers hobbled backcourt, averaging 10.5 points and 9.5 assists, but needed some time to adjust with three games of six-plus turnovers.
For the month of January, Marshall has started all 14 of the Lakers games, dropping 11.5 assists per game. But the Lakers have gone 3-11 and are currently in the midst of a five-game losing streak.