Kobe Bryant is expected to miss the remainder of the Los Angeles Lakers' season, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. Bryant injured his shoulder in the third quarter of the Lakers' game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Jan. 21. The Lakers' press release confirmed Bryant's rotator cuff tear, but also noted no decisions will be made until Monday during his final meeting with doctors. Kobe will take the weekend to consider options on treatment for his shoulder, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
This is the second season in a row Bryant will miss significant time due to an injury, playing in just six games through '13-14. Bryant enters the final year of his contract next season ($25 million, per Sham Sports), and will once again be coming off of a serious injury heading into a new campaign.
Byron Scott has reached out to Bryant, apologizing to him via text message, according to various reporters. Bryant has sent out a single tweet since the injury, joking that passing "too much" led to his injury.
Kobe ends the season averaging 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game while shooting a career-worst 37 percent from the field. Bryant took three games through Christmas for rest and returned to the lineup on a tighter minutes restriction, but still missed five of the Lakers' last eight games.
Bryant told Scott earlier in the season his shoulder was hurting, according to Bill Oram of the OC Register, but Scott didn't revisit the issue, assuming it had passed. Kobe's baseline dunk against the Pelicans led to the injury: