Kobe Bryant Injury: Updates on Lakers Star's Status and Return

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

Nov 11, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) looks on from the bench during the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers managed to defeat the Detroit Pistons Sunday, but guard Kobe Bryant was left dealing with significant pain in the aftermath.

Continue for updates.

Bryant Will Not Travel to Phoenix

Monday, Nov. 16

Bryant played 36 minutes Sunday and commented on his status after the game, per Baxter Holmes of ESPN: "I’m barely standing up. My back & my legs, it’s killing me. I'm not looking forward to walking to the car. Seriously."

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times confirmed the 37-year-old guard would not play Monday's contest against the Phoenix Suns, and Holmes reacted to the situation:

Baxter Holmes @Baxter

Byron says 37 minutes is the max that Kobe will play this season. I have my doubts about that.

The later part of Bryant's career, in its 20th NBA season, has been riddled with injuries. Starting with a torn Achilles at the end of the 2012-13 season, Bryant has not been fully healthy at any point in the following three years. Knee, shoulder and back ailments have limited him to just 49 games over the last three seasons, and he's also sat out a few back-to-backs.

While that's a natural part of the aging process, Bryant's 2015-16 campaign has been marked by ineffectiveness when he's been on the court. The former MVP was averaging 16.9 points and 3.7 rebounds on 33.9 percent shooting coming into Sunday's game, including an abysmal 23.2 percent clip from beyond the arc.

“I’m the 200th best player in the league right now,” Bryant said Nov. 1, per Lakers.com. “I freaking suck.”

The Lakers are just 2-8 this season, so it's not like Bryant's injury issues are hurting their playoff chances. It may actually be better for them in the long run to have him off the floor so their young players can develop and make mistakes without a watchful Bryant criticizing every move.

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Still, another injury problem would be bordering on sad in what's likely Bryant's final season.

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