Lakers say Kobe Bryant has torn rotator cuff

Jonathan Bachman/AP file photoLakers star Kobe Bryant has a torn rotator cuff

Jonathan Bachman/AP file photoLakers star Kobe Bryant has a torn rotator cuff

LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant tore his right rotator cuff in the Los Angeles Lakers' latest defeat, the club announced Thursday.

Bryant injured his right shoulder in the second half of the Lakers' loss at New Orleans on Wednesday night when he drove the baseline for a two-handed dunk.

An MRI exam Thursday in San Antonio revealed the tear, and Bryant headed home to Los Angeles while the Lakers prepared to play the Spurs on Friday.

The Lakers declined to speculate on the severity of the injury, but many rotator cuff injuries require surgery and several months of rehabilitation.

Bryant briefly returned to the game in New Orleans and played essentially with one arm after the injury, making a 14-foot jumper with his left hand. He is a right-handed shooter.

After the game, Bryant said it felt as if his shoulder “came out of joint a little bit” on the dunk.

“I felt fine when I went up, and didn't feel too good when I came down,” he said.

Bryant is the third-leading scorer in NBA history, but he had played in just six games over the previous 18 months before this season began after recovering from two major leg injuries.

Bryant has sat out eight games in the past month strictly to rest. Coach Byron Scott is attempting to preserve his 36-year-old superstar through the length of his contract, which extends to next season.

Bryant is the NBA's highest-paid player this season, making $23.5 million this year and $25 million next year.

Bryant is averaging 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.

Golden State WarriorsKobe BryantLos Angeles Lakers

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Health care workers in the intensive care unit at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, with Alejandro Balderas, a 44-year-old patient who later died. Even in California, a state with a coronavirus vaccination rate well above average, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has nearly doubled in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database. (Isadora Kosofsky/The New York Times)
Why COVID took off in California, again

‘The good news is: The vaccines are working’

Lake Oroville stood at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
A kayaker on the water at Lake Oroville, which stands at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Oroville, Calif. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
Facing ‘dire water shortages,’ California bans Delta pumping

By Rachel Becker CalMatters In an aggressive move to address “immediate and… Continue reading

Students practice identifying species in the school garden at Verde Elementary in Richmond during summer camp. (Photo courtesy of Verde Elementary)
Reading, writing and bike riding: How schools spent summer helping students recover from pandemic

By Sydney Johnson EdSource Bicycles typically aren’t allowed on the blacktop at… Continue reading

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission launched a pilot program that offers up to 90 percent discounts on water and sewer bills for eligible customers. (Andri Tambunan/Special to ProPublica)
How does 90% off your water bill sound? Here’s who qualifies

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission announced this week it is launching… Continue reading

Most Read