Lakers News: Kobe Bryant’s Latest Injury Derails LA’s Playoff Hopes

Just six games into his return from a torn Achilles, Kobe Bryant is headed back to the recovery room with a knee injury.

A fractured lateral tibial plateau is expected to keep the 35-year-old on the sidelines for six weeks:  

The injury is not expected to require surgery, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports: 

This news comes just weeks after the Mamba signed a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension. Despite the fact he will be well paid for his rehab, head coach Mike D'Antoni expressed sympathy for his star.

As the Los Angeles Times' Eric Pincus details, Bryant injured his knee in the third quarter of the Lakers' 96-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. In true Mamba fashion, the legend played the fourth quarter with a broken knee. 

In all, he played 33 minutes in that game and scored 21 points on a 9-of-18 shooting night.

Bryant's ability to play through pain won't be able to keep him from missing time with this injury. Sure, he may be able to return to the court quicker than that six-week prognosis, but there is also the risk he suffers a setback and is out longer.

His body has taken a lot of abuse over the years, and toughness can only overcome so much when a body starts breaking down.

At any rate, this—along with the fact the Lakers don't play in the Eastern Conference—is all terrible news for the Lakers.

The Lakers (12-13) are in 11th place in the Western Conference. They trail the Denver Nuggets by 2.5 games for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Six weeks takes us roughly into the start of February.

The Lakers play 22 games before the calendar will hit February. At that point, their season will be six games past the halfway point.

Since Bryant's returned to the court, the Lakers have go...

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