The details involving Kobe Bryant traveling overseas for a medical procedure remains a mystery.
The Lakers haven’t disclosed which country Bryant has visited late Wednesday night and what the procedure entails other that it’s unrelated to his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon. But Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he has “no concern whatsoever” on what this means for Bryant’s ongoing recovery, and the team expects him to return sometime next week.
“I don’t think I’m surprised,” D’Antoni said after practice Thursday at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. “I think he had it programmed and that’s the way it was. He knew he had time because he’s not getting on the court yet. I don’t think it’s a big deal. I don’t think it caught anybody by surprise. Instead of doing it in August, he’s doing it now.”
Yahoo Sports, citing league sources, reported that Bryant traveled to Germany to have platelet-rich plasma therapy on his right knee. In 2011, Bryant had a similar procedure on his right knee and left ankle in Germany called Orthokine, which involves removing blood from an affected area and spun into a centrifuge before to create a serum that is then injected back into the area.
Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, and a spokesmen representing the Lakers’ star didn’t immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
“If it was for his Achilles, maybe I’d be worried,” Lakers forward Pau Gasol said in a brief interview with this newspaper. “But if it’s for his knee, I don’t think it’s still worse. Maybe it’s just a nice trip to Germany.”
Bryant made some progress Wednesday in what marked the Lakers’ fifth day of training camp by participating in light jogging and set-shooting. But the Lakers haven’t released any timetable on when they expect Bryant to return, including any of the Lakers’ eight preseason games through Oct. 25 and the season opener Oct. 29 against the Clippers at Staples Center. When Bryant suffered the Achilles injury April 12 against the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers estimated he’d stay sidelined for at least six to nine months.
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