The Los Angeles Lakers announced Thursday via Twitter that Kobe Bryant fractured a bone in his left knee and is expected to be sidelined for six weeks.
An MRI revealed the damage, which is projected to keep Bryant off the court until February. It is the same leg that underwent surgery earlier this year for a torn Achilles tendon.
To provide help in the backcourt with Bryant out, the Lakers agreed to sign second-year point guard Kendall Marshall.
The 35-year-old Bryant sustained the injury while making contact with Memphis' Tony Allen in the third quarter of Tuesday night's game in Los Angeles. Bryant stayed in the game, playing 33 minutes in the Lakers' 96-92 victory over the Grizzlies. He matched his season high with 21 points.
"It's too bad," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said at practice on Thursday. "You hate it for Kobe. He worked so hard to get back. But he'll be back. He'll be back in six weeks, and we'll deal with it and weather the storm until he gets back."
Bryant had played in six games this season since he returned from the torn Achilles suffered in April. He was averaging 13.8 points, 6.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 29.5 minutes per game.
Bryant's loss is the latest among Lakers gaurds. Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar are all sidelined with injuries. The Lakers said Xavier Henry will take over the point guard duties.
Marshall was the 13th overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in the 2012 NBA Draft. He was traded in February to the Washington Wizards, who then waived him.
This season, Marshall was playing for the Delaware 87ers in the NBA Developmental League, averaging 19.4 points and 9.6 assists in seven games.