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Friday, July 1st, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  50 responses

Kobe Bryant Underwent ‘Innovative’ Knee Procedure


by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

When it comes right down to it, much of the Los Angeles Lakers’ title hopes rest on the health of Kobe Bryant going forward.

And after angrily promising to come back physically stronger after they were swept out of the Playoffs, Kobe has reportedly taken a radical step to try and fix his troublesome right knee.

The LA Times reports:

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has taken an unusual step to try to strengthen his ailing right knee, undergoing an innovative procedure in Germany about a month ago, according to four people familiar with the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly. The treatment is a derivation of platelet-rich plasma therapy.

PRP procedures are less invasive than many surgeries involving the knee and are viewed as either an emerging solution to knee problems or a financial gamble on unproven science.

Bryant, who turns 33 next month, has been bothered in recent seasons by an arthritic joint in his right knee. He has undergone three other knee procedures since 2003, including surgery last July to remove unspecified loose bodies.

In the medical world, there doesn’t appear to be any sort of consensus when it comes to PRP procedures, so Kobe Bryant has taken a considerable risk here (and one has to wonder what the team thinks of this.)

Kobe isn’t the first world-class athlete to undergo the procedure; according to the Times, Rafael Nadal, Hines Ward, Brandon Roy and Tiger Woods have all reportedly tried it when dealing with their own knee problems.

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  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    Outside of Nadal, uh, has it ever been successful? Roy and Tiger are hurt every other day nowadays.

  • Overtime

    Cosign Jukai. Brandon has lost alot. Though whether thats specifically because of this type of surgery is anyones guess

  • Mike From Spain

    There is one doctor in Spain who does this (the one who treated Nadal) called Mikel Sánchez, and there is a waiting list of two years for someone in his team. Among other people , this guy worked his magic on Tiago Splitter and Jorge Garbajosa (do you remember from his Toronto Raptors days?), and countless anonymous people, mainly cyclists

  • Riggs

    he went to germany to get his knee fixed. Pretty sure they were dirk fans.

  • Overtime

    @Mike, seem to remember Jorge having heaps of problems though? (though this coulda been before the surgery). Splitter seems to have healed well though

  • Jacqueline Mitchell

    I certainly hope this procedure works: Not only for Kobe’s sake but also for the Lakers sake too.

  • Geek

    innovative knee procedure = leg massage

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Hopefully this procedure will help Kobe with his lift on his jumpshot and allow him to get his quick first step back and allow him to move better side to side when defending. The Lakers hopes are on Kobe, unless we get Howard after the lockout. BOOK IT!!

  • DieselMechanic

    Hope he’s alright. What a wonderous talent.

  • bike

    Innovative knee procedure in foreign country = illegal performance enhancing drug therapy.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Oh f*ck yes. Please somehow be 28 again Kobe. I’m rediculously excited to see how this turns out!

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    Good luck. We need to see you and LeBron cross swords in the NBA Finals before you hang ‘em up.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Hopefully this atleast makes it so he can practice during the season. I don’t like the Lakers, but Kobe is a killer, hate to see a killer with only 1 leg. The peg leg killers club is what it is now called, members, Chris Paul (President), Kobe Bryant (unsure new member), Tracy McGrady (He’s like the RA), Gilbert Arenas (He’s actually planking our Peg Leg Killer Club sign in the front right now), and Penny Hardaway (Founder, sleeping in the back)

  • brandon

    MVP

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    And Greg Oden is like the dude from Family Guy with 4 wooden limbs. Huey i’ve been waiting for that also. I want a LBJ vs Kobe finals before it’s all done, and before Kobe is 40.

  • tomtom

    @ jukai the difference is Roy and Tiger had accute knee injuries where as rafa and kobes knee problens are purely wear and tear issues. Rafa used to heavily tape both knees and was suseptable to tendonits and now he is virtually pain free and no longer needs to tape. I think this might wotk out for Kobe.

  • tomtom

    @jukai the difference is Roy and Woods had accute knee injuries where as rafa and kobes knee problens are purely wear and tear issues. Rafa used to heavily tape both knees and was suseptable to tendonits and now he is virtually pain free and no longer needs to tape. I think this might work out for Kobe

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    If Kobe is better than last year, I don’t see Dallas able to edge them out again. Maybe it’s more dependent on Pau, but I think if Kobe’s healthy he can drag them past the Mavs. Lakers pick up James Jones! or grab Cook from OKC. We need 1 knock down 3 point shooter then it’s another Finals trip.

  • Prince

    Why do the the procedure it’s not like you’re winning anymore titles. With Shannon Brown leaving, you are left with Laman Kardasian and Luke Walton as best bench players. And Bynum is like Leg Oden 2.0, can go down without somebody hitting him. Nice run Kobe for being a part of 5 championship, just like Robert Horry.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I’m sorry but I would rather have a healthy Dirk then a healthy Kobe. That series if it happens again, will come down to the bigs.

  • Everynowhere

    @prince kobe can still try to beat kareem’s scoring record and even if he fails at that he might beat jordan in all time points. who’s to say he won’t win another championship? he’s kobe freaking bryant. And robert horry has been a part of 7 championships.

  • B-More Mike

    @prince: what has Shannon Brown ever done in the purple & gold? Another guy with a whole bunch of untapped talent, it pains me 2 watch because I remember him being #3 in the 03 class behind Bron & Lou Deng. All highlights, no substance.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Shannon Brown has never helped the Lakers win a title. Lamar should be the same (6th man of the year, double double) Pau should be back to himself (Top 3 PF in the World), Bynum should be healthy (Top 3 Center in the League) Barnes won’t be injured, Kobe should be better, Blake should not suck the entire year. I realize thats allot of ‘shoulds’, but it’s silly to say they can’t win more titles. They are equal or better to anyone in the west and can beat 90% of the East.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    A series featuring Superstars will depend on the superstars. If you think it only comes down to the front court or rebounding or defense your wrong. It comes down to Superstars being Superstars. Then the other things have to come. But the Lakers don’t win without an aggresive Kobe. Pau is second. Bynum and Lamar shore up the 3rd option.

  • JL

    you need to rest to make it better. Kobe is amazingly tough and durable though I wouldn’t doubt him. The lockout will do the older NBA guys good. Just get some R&R and rehab and they will be better shape than they would have been without a lockout.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Dirk is the better, more efficient superstar at this stage in their careers. Only chance LA has is for their Bigmen to outplay the Mavericks bigmen. Just like it was this year. Which shouldn’t be that hard, considering Bynum is a much better overall player then Tyson Chandler, and Pau is supposedly the second best PF on earth – (according to the Slam Poll last year after the Lakers title, and ESPN, and Slams Top 50) – Series do come down to superstars, but when one team has a more efficient superstar, and the other has 2 almost 3, that alpha vs alpha battle becomes irrelevant. – Same reason IMO no matter how good LeBron or Kobe for that matter played against Dallas this year, their teams weren’t winning.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    We know what to expect from Kobe and Dirk so resigning Chandler is the key to the Mavs beating the Lakers again. His defensive presence is a very underrated part of that team.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yes, but in years past Kobe has ouplayed Dirk. More efficient, yes. Better? imo no. Dirk can shoot and occassionally drive. Kobe is a better passer. A better rebounder per position. He also plays better D. Offensive skill wise, Kobe is better but Dirk is 7 feet tall which makes his shot ungaurdable. I think it is a toss up between the two as to which one plays better and has a greater impact on the game in a series. I’m gunna stick with the Kobe. If Pau doesn’t play terrible I think Kobe will be the difference maker. I have watched him kill the Mavs during the regular season, and I think he can do it in the post season also. I feel like the Lakers have a chance to stop (slow down) Dirk with their wings and versitile frontcourt. I know they didn’t this past series but they have a better chance than anyone. (Artest, Barnes, Odom, Pau take turns.) No one can stop Kobe on Dallas tho. As good as Caron and DeShawn and Marion are on D they haven’t stopped Kobe in the past.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Uhm no in years past they have never met in the playoffs. — And Dirk just had a better playoffs then Kobe has ever had in his career. Kobe has never even shot 50% in the playoffs. Dirk is on his 3rd straight year above 48% (54% in ’09 – 51% in ’10) – Kobe hasn’t reached that mark since 2006. — And I wouldn’t be citing shooting % as the main reason, if Kobe didn’t shoot such a large number of shots at a lower %, despite his superior teammates.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    Wings used to be able to bother Dirk. Now, he eats them.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Kobe has no Superior team mate. You ruin your credibilty when you say that. Where did I say they met in the playoffs before? Oh I didn’t. I specifically said during the regular season. The better player doesn’t always shoot a higher %. Pippen Shot a higher % then Jordan couple years. No reason to say something stupid becuase of that though. It makes sense the guy who is 7 foot and one of the greatest pure shooters ever shoots a higher % then a 6’6″ SG.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I am not saying they are superior to him dood. They are superior to the other non-dirk’s on Dallas. Pau, Bynum, Odom would all be the second best player on Dallas’ roster. That’s what I meant by superior.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Jordan and Pippen didn’t shoot the same mount of shots. Let alone Pippen shooting more shots. Is this really hard to understand? Kobe shoots a lower % then DIRK but shoots the same to MORE shots at a LOWER %. The logic is sound that a player shooting more shots at a lower% is less effective then a guy shooting the same amount of shots at a higher %. This is actually plainly obvious. If Kobe could win series by himself he would have done it at some point. Actually he did it once when Shaq was his teammate in the conference finals. But never since

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Oh gotcha. They seem to be very even matched. I am forced to chalk up this year to just the Mavs finally getting theirs, and the Lakers getting a little tired and not so enamored with winning a title. Why? when u have a chance at an ultra rare 3 peat I don’t know but I am certain the Lakers will show next year in the playoffs that they got some juice left. If only we could grab Nashty from PHX and then that would take care of the PG and outside shooting, but thats not happening. I’m just already ready for next season. To bad it might be a while out…

  • TheNightWatch*8*

    I Miss The “20 points in 6 minutes” Kobe.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I’d be more focused on what y’all are gonna do on offense with Mike Brown then the playoffs a year away. Browns offense, Bynum’s knee, Dwight – those are the three variables I see playing the biggest role in the lakers success or lack of success.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I understand all of that. But kobe gets his team mates some pretty easy buckets. Moreso than Dirk. That has to count for something. Dirk is really really good. And more efficient. But that doesn’t always mean better player. I feel like Kobe is taken for granted. He is going to come in and play aggressive every night. Theres not allot of players you can say that about. Dirk is more important to the Mavs then Kobe is to the Lakers. But they aren’t going anywhere unless Kobe is taking them there.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Offense won’t be on Brown. Its on that one Euro, Spanish or Italian dude lol. Who knows if it’ll be any good. But like Bron, Kobe can just take over games and then he has good 1 on 1 team mates like Pau, Bynum and Odom. For some reason the Lakers having Offensive struggles doesn’t concern me. They only thing i was worried about was defense and they just got one of the better D coaches in the L.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    nbk is right. The main reason we lost that series(other than the bench play) is our big men’s play. Pau Gasol was terrible. No, I mean TURRIBLE. You can see that Kobe just might be physically deteriorating. But if this Knee Surgery does for Kobe what it did for Rafael Nadal, then he’ll probably be an MVP candidate again, and he would have a WAAAAY better postseason.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    *Mavs Bench Play

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I don’t disagree that the front court has to play well, but if you think they can beat them with Kobe not playing well, think again. Pau only needed to show up and he didn’t do that. If he just plays regular season well then Kobe will do the rest, and I think the Lakers will win. Obviously allot goes into it. But Kobe is the difference maker. Just as Dirk will be if the Mavs are to win any games they need him to play fairly well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Oh no, I don’t believe that. That’s a big misconception lots of Kobe haters have about the Lakers. Alot of them think the Lakers would still be good without Kobe. But without Kobe’s presence, there nothing more than playoff team used to first-round exits.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    The fact that Brandon Roy has tried it isn’t a great sign. But if it is effective, and I hate myself for asking this question, what if MJ had tried it back in the Wizards years?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Whoa whoa whoa – first of all I never said Kobe can not play well and the Lakers still win in the playoffs. Never. He’s their best player he clearly has to be that. But he is not the reason they win or lose against teams like Dallas. That pass and shoot so much better then most teams. Kobe gets mor assists then Dirk, he doesn’t create more baskets. Not even close IMO – 1)Dirk is being guarded by a big and 20 feet from the hoop. 2)Dirk gets more hockey assists then any player I’ve seen since Shaq. 3)Dirk’s man like Kobe’s cannot leave him even if he doesn’t have the ball, but unlike Kobe, Dirk’s man rarely ever can switch, making Dirk an implied assist on any pick play. Atlases that’s how I see it, and it seems like Carslisle coaches their offense that way. Kobe is not what he was even 2 years ago. That surgery is not going to change that, it will just make him more pain free. Nasal is 28 and plays tennis, Kobe is 32 and has been an NBA basketball player for 13 years. Their knees have a different type, and amount of miles.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    On my phone sorry for all the typos. F u autospell

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I definitely see your points. And your right he may create more hocket assists than anyone. Your also correct about the surgery. I was kidding about it having so miracle affect. I’m just hoping he isn’t any worse than last year. 25, 5, 5, on i think 46% fg in 33 or so mins isn’t to bad for a “past his prime vet.” If he’s the same as last year with just a little added strength, to me, thats good enough. I like this Mavs team and Dirk is one of the GOAT bball players so it’s a good debate between him and Kobe.
    @JE: Lets see if it works at all for Kobe then we’ll talk about the what if’s of past greats.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Yeah I’m not saying Kobe isn’t enough. He definitely is, but it’s not like he can win 3 games in a series by himself against the best teams in the league anymore. But he still can put up 30 5 5 on 45% shooting in a 7 game series. Just needs Pau to be as good as he is in the regular season against contenders, and Bynum has to be healthy. I think that this has been proven with when they win & lose in the postseason . Kobe and Phil have been the only consistent aspect of the Lakers over the past oh idk 6 years?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I agree.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    @LakeShow: agreed, but hell. we’ve got some time on our hands.

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    @ JE, Brandon Roy’s knee is way worst than Kobe’s, so it could be a good sign. @ nbk, it’s 15 years, not 13. Lol just sayin, not bitin ur head off

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