Mamba played on for entire half with injury.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will be sidelined for the next six weeks after suffering a fractured left knee during Tuesday night’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
“All I can do is do the work. And do everything I can to be back at the highest level,” Bryant told ESPN.
The 35-year-old will not require surgery to repair the damage, as it is purely a case of allowing the bone to heal.
Nevertheless, his absence is still a huge blow for the Lakers who had recently welcomed him back from a torn Achilles which had kept him out since April.
Having signed a new two-year, $48.5m contract extension last month, Bryant had hoped to make his influence felt this season but his absence will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the franchise over the next month or so.
Already short of back-court options, coach Mike D’Antoni is confident that his team can “weather the storm” until he gets back, but will not have point guard Steve Nash back any time soon either.
The team also announced on Thursday that the veteran will miss an additional four weeks because of nerve root irritation, a problem that has limited him to just four games so far this season.
Having previously refused to sign any replacements, the Lakers have now agreed a deal with Kendall Marshall, who was the 13th pick of the Phoenix Suns in the 2012 draft.
However, it will do little to ease the disappointment in Laker Nation, with Bryant averaging 13.8 points and 6.3 assists per game since his return while also shooting 42.5 per cent from the field.
The Lakers went 2-4 since Bryant returned, and the messages of support flooded in from the likes of LeBron James and Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau on Thursday.