Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who is recovering from a fractured lateral tibial plateau of his left knee, was examined Wednesday by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo, who determined that Bryant's injury has still not healed.
With this diagnosis, Bryant will not return to play this season, it was announced by the team.
"With Kobe's injury still not healed, the amount of time he'd need to rehab and be ready to play, and the amount of time remaining in the season, we've simply run out of time for him to return," said Athletic Trainer Gary Vitti. "However, Kobe will have the entire offseason to heal, rehab and prepare, and we look forward to him being 100% for the start of next season."
"Obviously this has been a frustrating and disappointing season, but I appreciate all the support I've received from the Lakers and the fans, and look forward to being back and ready for the start of training camp," said Bryant.
Early in the season Bryant said he was ahead of schedule in rehabilitation. But with every passing examination the Lakers revealed Bryant was still in pain.
And now, with the Lakers hopelessly out of contention for a playoff berth, it would make little sense to bring him back.
Bryant has signed a new two-year contract worth $48 million.