Lakers’ Kobe Bryant learns rotator cuff is ‘pulled off the bone’ in video

first_imgThe harsh truth awaited Kobe Bryant. The Lakers’ star visited with team doctor Steve Lombardo on Friday for a re-examination after an MRI suggested he had a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. As shown in a video Bryant posted Saturday on “The Players Tribune,” Lombardo soon delivered some depressing news. “There are four muscles for your cuff,” Lombardo said to Bryant. “Unlike this previous MRI, and your ultrasound you had a couple of months ago, this is pulled off. Torn, (muscle) No. 3.”“It’s pulled off the bone?” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak asked off camera.“Yes,” Lombardo answered. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Case studyThe Lakers’ collective inaction on Bryant’s shoulder juxtaposed how meticulous Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has become in managing forward Tim Duncan, the 18-year veteran.“You have a long view in the sense that you think about it and you look at the schedule at the beginning of the year,” Popovich said. “It’s never about wins or losses. It’s not about that. You don’t overplay somebody to get the win.”Scott tried adopting that plan for Bryant knowing he played only six games last season amid injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee. After playing Bryant an average of 35.5 minutes through the Lakers’ first 27 games, Scott rested him in eight of the previous 15 contests before his injury. Scott hoped this approach would preserve Bryant for the 2015-16 season in what would mark the final year of his contract worth $25 million.Popovich began conserving Duncan in only his third year in the NBA entering the 2000 playoffs because an injured knee. “The docs cleared him, he could probably play, but I didn’t let him,” Popovich said. “I did that with the thought of wanting him to have as long of a career as he wanted to. I didn’t want to take a chance to send him out there and do more damage to it.”Injury updateThe Lakers have listed reserve center Tarik Black as doubtful for today’s game against the Rockets because of a sprained right ankle that sidelined him for the past two contests. center_img That means that Bryant will likely need surgery, which would keep him out for the rest of the 2014-15 season. Nothing has become official beyond Bryant remaining sidelined when the Lakers (12-32) host the Houston Rockets (30-14) today at Staples Center. Bryant still plans to visit with Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic on Monday before determining his next step. But the news hardly looks promising.“The thing I can’t tell is how long you’ve had this injury,” Lombardo said.Neither could Bryant. Lakers coach Byron Scott revealed Bryant alerted him about pain in his right shoulder about a month and a half ago. But Bryant quickly dismissed the discomfort. When Bryant aggravated the shoulder in Wednesday’s loss in New Orleans, Bryant still downplayed the injury. Regardless, Bryant responded with Lombardo’s grim diagnosis by saying “OK” in a stoic tone, suggesting the Lakers’ star understands the circumstances and remains determined to tackle his next challenge. last_img

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