LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant had surgery Saturday on his torn Achilles’ tendon, ending his season with two games left in the Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff chase.
Lakers trainer Gary Vitti thinks the 34-year-old Bryant will need six to nine months for recovery from the most serious injury of his 17-year National Basketball Association career.
“I think that’s a realistic goal for him, based on what he was talking about this morning,” said Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said at the team’s training complex in El Segundo, Califonia, after visiting Bryant at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.
Bryant completely tore his left Achilles’ tendon late in the Lakers’ 118-116 win over Golden State on Friday night, falling to the hardwood after pushing off his planted foot in an ordinary move toward the hoop. Although he stayed in the game to hit two tying free throws with 3:08 to play, Bryant’s season was over.
Bryant’s foot will be immobilised for about a month to prevent him from stretching out the tendon, followed by a lengthy rehabilitation process.
Nobody knows how the injury will affect Bryant’s play, but his decision to have surgery less than 24 hours after getting hurt suggests he’s determined to get back on top swiftly.
“He’s already taken the challenge,” Vitti said. “For us, it’s going to be trying to slow him down.”