It looks like it’s official—Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers will miss the 2014 NBA All-Star Game. According to the team’s official website, Bryant will be out of action for at least three more weeks.
INJURY UPDATE: Kobe Bryant was examined tonight & still has pain and swelling in his left knee. Examined again in approximately 3 weeks.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 29, 2014
The All-Star Game will be held in New Orleans on Sunday, February 16—less than three weeks away.
Bryant has been adamant lately that he doesn’t feel he’s deserving of a berth and that he plans to sit the game out. Per Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:
With all due respect to the fans that voted me in, I certainly appreciate that, they know how much I appreciate that, but you got to do the right thing as well. My fans know you got to reward these young guys for the work that they've been putting in.
Now, it’s no longer just a statement. He simply won’t be medically cleared to play.
It’s been a rough time for the 16-time NBA All-Star and Four-time All-Star MVP. Bryant tore his Achilles tendon on April 12, 2013, and didn’t return until December 8, at which point he played just six games before sustaining a left-knee fracture.
The initial timetable for a return was six weeks. That date will now come and go.
Bryant will continue with a program of non-weight bearing exercise, consisting mostly of working out on a stationary bike.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 29, 2014
Bryant is still limited to non-weight bearing exercise, which means pedaling on a stationary bike. He’ll be medically evaluated again and three weeks, and if ready, could then potentially resume some form of basketball activities.
As for actual game action, it’s anybody’s guess.