Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant suffered a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder in the second half of Wednesday night’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, an MRI exam revealed Thursday, putting the rest of his season in jeopardy.
The Lakers said Bryant will return to Los Angeles and will be examined by team doctors Friday instead of playing that night against the Spurs. The team said an update on Bryant’s condition would be issued then.
Sources told ESPN.com that Bryant will miss the rest of the season if it is determined he needs surgery. There is strong concern within the organization that is indeed the case, the sources said.
Bryant has been dealing with this shoulder injury since the preseason, sources said.
He apparently aggravated it with 4:14 left in the third quarter against the Pelicans when he drove baseline for a two-handed dunk.
“It felt fine when I went up, didn’t feel too good when I came down,” Bryant said after the game.
He grabbed his shoulder as he ran back down the court and checked out of the game a few minutes later.
Bryant checked back in with five minutes left in the fourth quarter and immediately favored his shoulder. He tried to rebound and dribble with his left hand, but it became clear something was wrong when he shot and made a turnaround 14-foot jumper with just his left hand.
Baxter Holmes and Ramona Shelburne