Kobe Bryant expected to miss nine months following shoulder surgery

January 28, 2015

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant underwent a successful surgery this morning to repair a torn rotator cuff, and as many suspected, he will now miss the remainder of the season.  The roughly two-hour procedure was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. Steve Lombardo at the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

“I expect Kobe to make a full recovery and if all goes as expected, he should be ready for the start of the season,” said ElAttrache in a statement.

Although Bryant is projected to make a full recovery, the Lakers have indicated in a release that he will be out for approximately nine months.  Bryant injured his right shoulder last week on a dunk against the Pelicans.

This is the third consecutive year in which Bryant's season has ended early due to injury.  It is also the first in which he has truly dealt with the harsh reality of Father Time, as Bryant has essentially been a part-time player this season, skipping games and playing limited minutes in order to keep himself fresh.

Considering his latest injury and the fact that even when healthy he could not elevate his marginally-talented teammates into the playoff hunt, Bryant's cap-eating two-year, $48.5 million deal looks all the more disastrous.

Ultimately, the blame for the signing lies with Jim Buss.  Certainly no cool-minded poker player like his father, Buss panicked and rushed to sign Kobe before he had even played in a regular season game following his Achilles surgery.

At a minimum, Buss was guilty of misjudging the free agent market because nobody would have offered Bryant a deal close to that annual amount.

Only time will tell whether the organization's party line -- that NBA stars will flock to LA after seeing such a display of generous loyalty to Bryant -- will actually result in a quality free agent signing this offseason.

On the bright side, however, Bryant's absence at least will increase the team's chances in the Jahlil Okafor sweepstakes for the upcoming 2015 NBA Draft.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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