LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES. (APRIL 13, 2013)(NBC) - Kobe Bryant's season is over after he suffered an Achilles tendon injury late Friday (April 12) night, forcing the Los Angeles Lakers to move on without their star player.
Bryant's Achilles tendon was torn the entire way through and will require several months of tough rehabilitation.
"It's gone, it has to be sewn back together," team athletic trainer Gary Vitti said.
He will miss any playoff action for the Lakers, if they can hang on to the final berth in the Western Conference.
"Last night's injury certainly is another setback, devastating in it's own way but I've got complete confidence that this group can win the next two games and get in the playoffs," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told the media after a morning practice Saturday.
The Lakers have recovered from a poor start to the season to push themselves into playoff contention but their chances of making an impact will be sorely hurt by the loss of their leading player.
"It's part of the game, we hate it, hate it for Kobe," Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters. "We got to move on and we got a big game tomorrow and we're going to come out fighting and see if we can get in the playoffs."
Usual recovery time for this type is injury is six to nine months and with the start of next season just under six months away Lakers forward Pau Gasol was asked whether Bryant could be ready to play.
"If one person can overcome this and get away with this healthy and come back strong it's Kobe, his will and determination are way beyond normal," Gasol replied. "I think he has the best chance to come back healthy and ready to play because I know he does not want to go out like this."