On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Kobe Bryant will miss six weeks after sustaining a fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday in LA’s 96-92 win.
Bryant was averaging 13.8 points (on 42.5% shooting), 6.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 5.7 turnovers in 29.5 minutes this season. The Lakers were 2-4 in games he played and the team seemed out of sorts at times with Bryant in the lineup.
“Broken, not beaten” Bryant tweeted on Thursday.
Bryant missed the Lakers first 19 games rehabbing from a torn Achilles injury he suffered last April.
“I twisted it a little bit, it’s a little stiff right now,” Bryant told Time Warner Cable SportsNet during a post-game interview. “I was a little uncertain of it in the fourth quarter. All in all, my body felt pretty good considering the schedule.”
This is the latest in the long line of injuries to the Los Angeles backcourt. Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake have all been injured and Bryant was filling in as the team’s de facto point guard.
Xavier Henry has been a surprise this season with his solid play. Henry, a fourth year player out of Kansas playing for his third team, scored 27 points against Portland On December 1st and he pumped in 21 points in a 100-86 win over the Sacramento Kings on November 24th. For the season, Henry is averaging 9.6 points per game and 2.6 rebounds per game, he has scored in double figures 10 times this season.
He will move into the starting lineup as the point guard next to Jodie Meeks and Wesley Johnson in a three guard backcourt. It’s going to be time for the other players like Nick Young (averaging a team-leading 14.9ppg), Meeks (12.4ppg and a team-high 42.6% on 3-pointers) and the old graybeard Pau Gasol (14.7ppg, 9.3 rebounds per game and 3 assists per game) to step up and help shoulder the burden. The Lakers went 10-9 without Kobe so it’s not like they aren’t capable of playing well without him.
Farmar is expected to be out at least another week but he’ll likely be the next PG to return with Nash and Blake both expected to be out at least four more weeks.
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