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 on Thursday 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.
The 35-year-old veteran 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.
--The NBA's top-selling jersey is the No. 6 worn by league MVP LeBron James of the Miami Heat.
In sales rankings released Thursday from adidas and NBAStore.com, James was ahead of Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant. The fourth-quarter sales figures account for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, which the NBA announced were record days.
In the No. 3 spot is Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who is sidelined with a knee injury after missing all of last season. Rose is followed by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony at Nos. 4 and 5.
It's the fifth time that James has topped the league's domestic jersey sales list. He also has the most popular jersey worldwide.
--The San Antonio Spurs will be without their top three players on Thursday night.
Coach Gregg Popovich will rest center/forward Tim Duncan and guard Manu Ginobili when the Spurs play the Golden State Warriors. Point guard Tony Parker also will miss his second straight game with a right shin contusion suffered on Monday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Last season, the Spurs drew a fine from NBA commissioner David Stern when all three were held out of the lineup for a game against Miami. Popovich periodically rests the 37-year-old Duncan and the 36-year-old Ginobili to save them from the wear and tear of a long season.