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Lakers say Kobe Bryant has torn rotator cuff

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Kobe Bryant to Undergo MRI on Shoulder



LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant tore his right rotator cuff in the Los Angeles Lakers' latest defeat, the club announced Thursday.

Bryant injured his right shoulder in the second half of the Lakers' loss at New Orleans on Wednesday night when he drove the baseline for a two-handed dunk.

An MRI exam Thursday in San Antonio revealed the tear, and Bryant headed home to Los Angeles while the Lakers prepared to play the Spurs on Friday.

The Lakers declined to speculate on the severity of the injury, but many rotator cuff injuries require surgery and several months of rehabilitation.

Bryant briefly returned to the game in New Orleans and played essentially with one arm after the injury, making a 14-foot jumper with his left hand. He is a right-handed shooter.

After the game, Bryant said it felt as if his shoulder "came out of joint a little bit" on the dunk.

"I felt fine when I went up, and didn't feel too good when I came down," he said.

Bryant is the third-leading scorer in NBA history, but he had played in just six games over the previous 18 months before this season began after recovering from two major leg injuries.

Bryant has sat out eight games in the past month strictly to rest. Coach Byron Scott is attempting to preserve his 36-year-old superstar through the length of his contract, which extends to next season.

Bryant is the NBA's highest-paid player this season, making $23.5 million this year and $25 million next year.

Bryant is averaging 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.


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Lakers say Kobe Bryant has torn rotator cuff
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12: Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings high-fives fans as he exits the ice after warmups before a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at STAPLES Center on January 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 13: Nikolay Kulemin #86 of the New York Islanders shoots against Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers during their game at Madison Square Garden on January 13, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
WINNIPEG, CANADA - JANUARY 13: Evander Kane #9 of the Winnipeg Jets hits the ice prior to puck drop against the Florida Panthers on January 13, 2015 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 13: Matt Ellis #37 of the Buffalo Sabres is checked by Luke Glendening #41 of the Detroit Red Wings on January 13, 2015 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. Detroit won, 3-1. (Photo by Rob Marczynski/NHLI via Getty Images)
KREISCHBERG, AUSTRIA - JANUARY 13: A competitor in action during Women's Snowboard Cross training ahead of the FIS Freestyle Ski World Championships on January 13, 2015 in Kreischberg, Austria (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 14: Al Sahlawi Mohammed of Saudi Arabia celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2015 Asian Cup match between DPR Korea and Saudi Arabia at AAMI Park on January 14, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 13: Amer Almatoug Alfadhel of Kuwait and Lee Keun Ho of Korea Republic contest possession during the 2015 Asian Cup match between Kuwait and Korea Republic at Canberra Stadium on January 13, 2015 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Stefan Postles/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Players battle for the ball as snow falls during the FA Cup third round replay match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fulham at Molineux on January 13, 2015 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 13: Stephen Parry of the Brisbane Heat drops a catch during the BIg Bash League match between the Melbourne Renegades and the Brisbane Heat at Etihad Stadium on January 13, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
LAWRENCE, KS - JANUARY 13: Frank Mason III #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks shoots while falling backwards after being fouled by Jeff Newberry #22 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the game at Allen Fieldhouse on January 13, 2015 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Kris Humphries #43 of the Washington Wizards passes the ball around the defense of Jeff Ayres #11 of the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at Verizon Center on January 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 14: Henrik Stenson of Sweden hits his approach shot on his last hole watched by his coach Pete Cowen during the pro-am for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 14, 2015 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
WINCANTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: A runner trails the field down the back straight in The Higos Insurance Services Somerton Handicap Hurdle Race at Wincanton racecourse on January 15, 2015 in Wincanton, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 20: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created using multiple exposure in camera.) Ze Zhang of China plays a forehand in his first round match against Lleyton Hewitt of Australia during day two of the 2015 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 18: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots makes a catch against LaRon Landry #30 of the Indianapolis Colts in the third quarter of the 2015 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 18, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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