Kobe Bryant reportedly gets manicure, pedicure
After Bryant absorbed so many whacks to the finger as he drove to the basket or veered away from a pesky defender trying to steal the ball, the avulsion fracture he sustained on Dec. 11, 2009, soon formed into arthritis around his middle knuckle.
Through all the various splints, changed shooting strokes and constant treatment, Bryant remained convinced any surgery would only result in a prolonged rehab without completely fixing the problem. So, as TMZ recently reported, Bryant apparently chose an alternative: He received a manicure/pedicure.
The damage to Bryant's surgically repaired right knee appeared so serious that last season he sat out many practices. Although Lakers trainer Gary Vitti told Lakers.com's Mike Trudell that the characterization was exaggerated, Bryant once told the New York Post's Peter Vecsey that the cartilage in his right knee remains so thin that it's nearly "bone on bone."
So in an off-season that Bryant wants to spend building leg strength, The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner reported that the Lakers star traveled to Germany in May for a derivation of platelet-rich plasma therapy, a controversial procedure that involves drawing a small amount of blood from the patient's arm, spinning it in a centrifuge for about 20 minutes to isolate platelets and then injecting the platelets into the injured area to try to stimulate tissue repair. To soothe the aching feet that accompany his beat-up knees, Bryant also received a pedicure.
No, all this doesn't exactly jibe with Bryant's tough-guy image: boasting to his teammates that his knee's healthy, throwing down a 360-degree dunk at his camp or even embarrassing rapper Bow Wow in a game of one-on-one.
So teammates will likely give Bryant a hard time about his salon appearance, or at least laugh behind his back about it the same way they did when he appeared in that awful L.A. Times photo shoot.
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: Kobe Bryant has had to deal with lingering problems associated with an arthritic joint in his right knee. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press