Kobe Bryant opens up about injuries
There's two things Kobe Bryant rarely does.
Give pregame interviews and talk at length about his injuries. But he did both before the Lakers-New York Knicks game Thursday before an assembled crowd of L.A. and New York media and provided some clarity to the numerous body parts that ail him.
He described his right knee as "95%" and "as close to 100% as it's going to get" after having an innovative procedure on it in Germany that involved molecular orthopedist Peter Wehling treating an arthritic joint in his right knee. Bryant said the torn ligament in his right wrist "feels a lot better today" and won't require surgery. And he said he's declined to wear a wrap around his arthritic right index finger because "it's become bone on bone and has healed itself."
Bryant also confirmed numerous reports that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez talked with the Lakers' star before flying to Germany to receive platelet-rich plasma injections, a procedure that Bryant underwent. It involves removing blood from the affected area of a patient and spinning it in a centrifuge. The interleukin antagonists are removed to create a serum that is injected back into the targeted area. Bryant said Rodriguez reached out to him and he was more than happy to give advice since he says he's a Yankees fan.
"I gave him the phone number," Bryant said regarding his conversations with Rodriguez. "I just told him it made a huge difference for me."
The Lakers have also had unique procedures this season to maximize their health. As first reported by ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin, the Lakers visited a Sacramento-area cryotherapy clinic to experience intense cold therapy in hopes to guard against the fatigue from the Lakers' compacted 66-game schedule. Bryant said that exercises and his numerous individual procedures involve plenty of homework beforehand.
"It has to make sense," Bryant said. "You can't just try something just to try it. It has to make sense. It has to be something that you can back with research and study. It's my job to know these things. You have people that you pay to know these things."
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Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, top, dunks over Utah forwards Al Jefferson, left, and Paul Millsap during the second quarter of Tuesday's game at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / December 27, 2011