Sad day for Los Angeles Lakers fans. Star shooting guard Kobe Bryant suffered a 3rd-degree Achilles rupture in the Lakers' 118-116 win over the Warriors on Friday night.
"It’s gone," said head athletic trainer for the Lakers, Gary Vitti. "It has to be sewn back together." Bryant headed into emergency surgery today at 1PM.
"He’ll be immobilized for quite awhile – a month or more," added Vitti, but the team plans on having No. 24 back on the court at the start of next season. The recovery is expected to last anywhere from six to nine months, sometimes up to a year. "It’s a very delicate process of getting the strength and length back into the tendon without overloading it too soon," Vitti adds.
Bryant has been taking it in stride. He posted a photo to his Instagram flashing a peace sign and a smile while getting a MRI. A follow-up photo showed Bryant dolled up for surgery and still smiling with the caption, "Surgery prep time. Lookin like Mrs Doubtfire with a jerri curl cap lol Anesthesia next."
"I said to him last night this is just another challenge in your life," Vitti explained in a statement. "The game of basketball comes too easy for you, so you need these things. The best thing you can do for us, as media, is say things like: ‘He can’t do it.’ That will force him to do it. He’s already taken the challenge. He’s already made the decision today to have the surgery. For us, it’s trying to keep him down and trying to slow him down."