Kobe Bryant thought his latest injury was just a bone bruise, if anything, at the time. When the doctor told him that it was a fracture, Kobe thought he was joking.
Despite that, Kobe still says that he’s fortunate it wasn’t a torn meniscus — which would’ve sidelined him for much longer than the projected six weeks.
“I was fortunate that it was not a meniscus,” he said.
Initially, Bryant didn’t think he was seriously hurt against Memphis. He went down late in the third quarter, but returned to finish out the victory in which he logged a season-high 21 points in 32 minutes.
“I didn’t know it was fractured,” he said. “I was expecting a bone bruise more than anything else. I thought (the doctor) was joking when he told me.”
Bryant has been limited to riding a bike; he isn’t supposed to put any pressure on his knee.
“It’s just been slow in terms of laying off it and letting it heal,” he said. “When you don’t have activity, you got to watch the other parts like nutrition.”
Even when Kobe had returned from his first “major” injury of his career — the Achilles injury — many were already questioning him. He knows — with this latest injury (a fractured bone in his left knee) — that it’s just going to get even louder and stronger. His response? The same as its always been.
“It’s the same old tune, just being sung a little more loudly now,” he said. “These type of things just help me lock in more.”
Asked if there’s any chance he won’t be back, Bryant replied, “Not that I’m aware of.”
Kobe is probably looking at a late-January/early February return. However, Kobe isn’t sweating or worrying about his ability to comeback from his latest knee injury. In fact, he says that it’s not even a concern. And after coming back from the Achilles injury, why should he?
But even though Kobe couldn’t be on the court with his teammates on Christmas Day against the back-to-back defending champs for what he looked forward to as a “measuring stick game”, he still knows that there’s a bigger picture — and he already has his mind in the right place.
“My spirits are fine,” he said. “I feel more locked in now than my entire career.”