LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is expected to miss six weeks with a fractured knee, team officials said Thursday.
After tweaking his knee in Tuesday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Bryant’s injury was revealed as a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee.
Xavier Henry was expected to step into the starting lineup in place of Bryant.
The 35-year-old future Hall of Famer returned Dec. 8 after being out for nearly eight months following surgery for a torn Achilles tendon.
He signed a 2-year, $48 million contract in November that was expected to keep him in a Lakers uniform for the rest of his NBA career.
Coach Mike D’Antoni expressed his sympathy for Bryant.
“You hate it for Kobe. He’s worked so hard to get back,” he said via the Lakers’ official Twitter page.
The team also announced that point guard Steve Nash will be out for at least 4 more weeks with nerve root irritation.
With the loss of Kobe, who played point guard for three games, Jordan Farmar, Steve Blake and Steve Nash, the Lakers were forced to sign Kendall Marshall of the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League to give the team some PG depth.
Marshall, who played for two season with the North Carolina Tar heels, nearly averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game while playing for the 86ers.
For now, Xavier Henry will play point guard.