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Kobe Bryant will return to street clothes on the sidelines for at least six weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers Twitter account posted Thursday, as the guard has been diagnosed with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee.
Bryant twisted his knee during the second half of Tuesday night’s game, but said he would be ready for Friday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“You hate it for Kobe,” Coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s worked so hard to get back.”
Bryant has played in six games in the 2013-14 season after sitting out the beginning of the year as he recovered from Achilles’ surgery. Bryant tore his left Achilles’ tendon and underwent surgery in April.
Since returning to the lineup, Bryant has averaged 13.8 points, six assists, and four rebounds per game, all while playing almost 30 minutes per night. Xavier Henry will slide in at point guard until Bryant is able to return.
The 22-year-old Henry has started two games this season for the Lakers. In 25 total games he has racked up a .432 field goal percentage and has averaged 9.6 points per game. On Monday, Henry scored 18 points with six rebounds and three steals.
This is an interesting opportunity for Henry who recently told the Los Angeles Daily News: “I’m trying to solidify myself and have a great career. But it doesn’t happen in a day. I can’t have too many highs or lows. It’s about pushing through the whole season.”
The 6-foot-6 guard and former 12th overall pick will be thrust into the spotlight in Los Angeles as Bryant rehabs from yet another injury.
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