Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has a broken bone in his left knee and is expected to miss six weeks, the NBA team said Thursday.
"You hate it for Kobe," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said in remarks posted on the team's Twitter feed. "He's worked so hard to get back." Bryant missed the first 19 games of the season as he continued to recover from surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon suffered in April.
He had played just six games and averaged 13.8 points.
Bryant was injured Tuesday in the third quarter of a 96-92 win over Memphis. He walked carefully to the bench but returned later to the contest and finished with 21 points.
Bryant said immediately after the game that he was pleased with his performance in his fourth game in five days, and downplayed any injury he may have suffered when he fell with Memphis's Tony Allen guarding him.
"I tend to hyperextend my knees every now and then," Bryant said after the game. "This was one of those situations." The Lakers, who host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, were already battling a bevy of injuries.
The team said Thursday that veteran point guard Steve Nash, who has been out with a chronic nerve issue in his back, will be reevaluated in a month.
Point guard Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake also remain sidelined, Farmer with a hamstring injury and Blake with a torn ligament in his right elbow.