Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has a torn right wrist ligament that could take more time to heal if found to be a severe tear, according to ESPN.com.
Bryant suffered the wrist injury in the Lakers' 114-95 loss to the Clippers on Monday when he fell to the floor in the third quarter after Clippers center DeAndre Jordan blocked his shot attempt. He practiced with the injury on Tuesday but didn't participate in Wednesday's shootaround for a rematch against the Clippers after continuing to experience pain on the top portion of his hand.
The Lakers have listed Bryant's status as day to day. However, he could be out longer.
Bryant was examined by Dr. Steven Shin of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles and underwent an MRI exam on Wednesday, which showed that Bryant has a torn lunotriquetral ligament, a band of tissue that connects bones in the wrist.
These are tiny little ligaments that keep the multiple bones in your wrist together so that you have movement as well as stability, said Dr. Robert Klapper, an orthopaedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Group, on the 710 ESPN Los Angeles' Max & Marcellus Show.
Klapper added that the type of wrist injury Bryant has doesn't typically require surgery, but could keep Bryant out three to four weeks depending on the degree of the tear.
If it's completely torn, you're talking about a month out, Klapper said. But, if it's just showing up on the MRI as bruising in the ligaments or in the bone, then that's a different story. Then it's less of an injury.
If Bryant is kept out three to four weeks, it would be a huge blow to the Lakers whose aging roster requires a fast, good start to the shortened 66-game season, especially with the Lakers' opening game four days away against the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day.
The Lakers will already be missing one starter for some time as center Andrew Bynum is suspended for the first five games of the season because of a hit he made on guard J.J. Barea in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals last spring.