Only six games after returning from an Achilles tendon injury — Kobe Bryant is hurt again.
The Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard has suffered a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee and is expected to miss six weeks, the team announced Thursday.
The 35-year-old returned to the lineup 11 days ago, in a loss to the Toronto Raptors, after rupturing his Achilles' tendon on April 12.
“You hate it for Kobe. He’s worked so hard to get back," Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni was quoted as saying on the Lakers' Twitter account.
The injury occurred on Tuesday, during the third quarter of Los Angeles’ game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Bryant hyper-extended his knee and fell to the floor after backing down Tony Allen.
He stayed on the floor briefly before standing up, bent over at the waist and flexed his left leg back and forth. He walked to the bench with trainer Gary Vitti but returned to the floor following a timeout.
Bryant hit a deep 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter to help clinch a 96-92 win, finishing with a season-tying 21 points in more than 32 minutes. Bryant said after the game that he kind of twisted his knee but it felt all right.
"I just hyperextended it," Bryant said when asked to describe what happened on the play. "I tend to hyperextend my knees every now and then."
Bryant, considered a surefire future Hall of Famer, signed a two-year, $48.5-million US contract extension at the end of November.
Bryant is averaging 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game on the season.