The right pinkie that Kobe injured against the Nets last week appears to have gotten worse after he re-aggravated it last night in the game against the Timberwolves.
The official diagnosis is a complete tear of the radial collateral ligament, an avulsion fracture, and a volar plate injury at the MCP joint of the small finger of this right hand.
The doctor’s recommendation is surgery, which would shelve Bryant for approximately six weeks, but Kobe is taking a wait-and-see approach, hoping to delay surgery until after the Lakers season and this summer’s Beijing Olympics have concluded.
“My current thinking is to give my finger some treatment and rest for a few days, and hope I can still continue to compete at a high level after that rest,” said Bryant. “I would prefer to delay any surgical procedure until after our Lakers season, and this summer’s Olympic Games. But, this is an injury that myself and the Lakers’ medical staff will just have to continue to monitor on a day-to-day basis.”
Bryant is currently second in the league in scoring at 28 points per game. He also leads the team in assists at 5.3 per game.
Kobe will not participate in the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, Dirk Nowitzki will take his place.