The extended minutes Kobe Bryant has been playing did not cause his season-ending Achilles tear — an injury that will keep the Lakers star sidelined for six to nine months — according to Bryant’s trainer.
Bryant has been playing more time late this season in an attempt to sneak Los Angeles into the playoffs. Bryant went down Friday night in the final minutes of a win over the Warriors. At that point, Bryant had logged nearly 45 minutes as he struggled to walk to the locker room. On Saturday, Bryant’s trainer, Tim Grover, told the Los Angeles Daily News that other factors played into Bryant’s injury, and that he was not being overplayed.
“It had nothing to do with the minutes he had been playing or anything of that sort,” Grover told Mark Medina in a phone interview. “A torn Achilles tendon is a very freaky injury. It’s just one of those things that just happened.”
Grover went on to say that the tear in Bryant’s left Achilles tendon could have been caused by bone spurs in his left foot, an injury that Bryant had been dealing with for some time. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni had been criticized for playing Bryant too many minutes down the stretch.
Bryant underwent surgery on Saturday and could be back in action as early as October, or as late as the beginning of 2014. The Lakers are currently clinging to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, leading the Jazz by one game.