At the end of Monday's practice, the Los Angeles Lakers confirmed that Kobe Bryant had been examined earlier in the morning and a decision to undergo surgery had been made. Bryant will go under the knife on Wednesday, and an official timeline for recovery will be made available at that time.
Generally, recovery from surgery of this type requires three to six months for a full recovery, so Bryant is not expected to be back for the remainder of the season. Officially, the Lakers will wait until the surgery is successful before announcing any timeline.
"Big news. I talked to [Bryant] this morning before he went in for the examination," Lakers coach Byron Scott said after Monday's practice. "Told him I'd say a prayer for him and said we'll talk afterward. I just got the news, as well."
Scott said Bryant was in good spirits, and Scott joked that he probably sounded worse than Bryant.
Looking ahead at the remaining 37 games on the Lakers' schedule, Scott said the Lakers would have to make due.
"So basically, what we've been doing for the last couple games is what we're probably going to be doing for the rest of the year," Scott said. "Now that we know Kobe's probably not going to play, so we just got to go with what we've got."
Unfortunately, the Lakers have lost eight games in a row, so what the Lakers have been doing the past couple games does not bode well for the future.
"I have no idea," Scott responded when asked who could potentially step into the leadership role vacated by Bryant's injured shoulder. "If I had to guess, I would say 'Booz,' but again, like I said, I really don't know."
Carlos Boozer, a.k.a "Booz," called Bryant a "warrior" and said he expected the 19-year veteran to be back before commenting on his coach's thoughts. "I've been leading. That's natural for me."
"I mean the game he got hurt in, he played the last quarter left handed," Boozer responded when asked if Bryant could come back. "If anyone can come back, it's Kobe. He attacks his rehab. He's a monster with his work ethic."
Asked if not having Bryant at all would be preferred to the uncertainty of having Bryant part-time, Scott said he preferred having some of Bryant than not have him at all.
"I'd rather have [Bryant] half the time than none of the time," Scott said.
The Lakers' coach said that he never talked about the possibility of retirement with Bryant, and the coach hypothesized that Bryant wanted to "go out on his own terms."