Kobe Bryant will miss the All-Star Game after the Los Angeles Lakers announced the 35-year-old shooting guard will not be examined for another three weeks. Late Tuesday night, the Lakers announced that Bryant was examined by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo prior to Tuesday's loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Bryant still had pain and swelling in his left knee, and he expected to continue a “program of non-weight bearing exercise.” In other words, the Lakers’ superstar will spend another three weeks pedaling on a stationary bicycle.
Bryant originally returned to action from an Achilles injury after eight months on the sidelines. After six games on the court, the five-time champion suffered a fracture during the Dec. 17 win against the Memphis Grizzlies. Bryant scored 21 points in that game and played until the final buzzer sounded.
Two days later, however, an MRI revealed a fracture in Bryant’s left knee. He was expected to miss approximately six weeks from the Dec. 19 announcement. Two days shy of six weeks, the Lakers announced Bryant was still three weeks away from his next examination, and he will likely return to game action no sooner than a couple weeks after that.
With the NBA All-Star Game taking place on Feb. 16, Bryant’s next trip to the doctor should come the week following the exhibition game. He was voted in by the fans for a potential 16th straight appearance, but Bryant expressed hesitation and frankly stated that he did not deserve the honor.
Bryant’s inability to take part in the All-Star Game means the Lakers will likely not send a single player to the All-Star Game. The last time the Lakers did not have an All-Star representative was the 1996 NBA All-Star Game, the year before Bryant joined the team.