The announcement has been a long time coming from the Los Angeles Lakers, but they have finally made it official–Kobe Bryant is out for the season.
It’s been a rough year for the Lakers without the team’s longtime superstar on the court. All year long the team has held out hope that he would be able to return, but as the season has progressed Bryant’s health has not progressed enough. It was initially believed that he just needed 4-6 weeks to recover, but that has clearly not been the case.
At this point in the season there is nothing Bryant or the Lakers could gain by him playing so the team has decided to officially shut him down.
“With Kobe’s injury still not healed, the amount of time he’d need to rehab and be ready to play, and the amount of time remaining in the season, we’ve simply run out of time for him to return,” said Athletic Trainer Gary Vitti (via NBA.com). “However, Kobe will have the entire offseason to heal, rehab and prepare, and we look forward to him being 100% for the start of next season.”
Last season ended premature for Bryant when he tore his Achilles tendon late in the season. He ended up missing the first 19 games of this season, and had only played in six before suffering a lateral tibial plateau fracture in his left knee.
“Obviously this has been a frustrating and disappointing season, but I appreciate all the support I’ve received from the Lakers and the fans, and look forward to being back and ready for the start of training camp,” said Bryant.[H/T NBA]