Kobe Bryant out with fracture in knee

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant needed seven and a half arduous months to return from an Achilles tear, seemingly making back in time to save a Lakers team that was left to battle the elements without injured guard Steve Nash, and with Pau Gasol hobbling and inconsistent. The Lakers, faced with a tough road schedule, have dropped four of six with Bryant in the lineup, and they’re likely to be dropping quite a few more from now until February. - Kelly Dwyer

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (24) dribbles around Memphis Grizzlies' Jamaal Franklin (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (24) dribbles around Memphis Grizzlies' Jamaal Franklin (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (24) dribbles around Memphis Grizzlies' Jamaal Franklin (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, bottom, works the ball against Memphis Grizzlies' Tony Allen during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. The Lakers defeated the Grizzlies 96-92. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, bottom, works the ball against Memphis Grizzlies' Tony Allen during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. The Lakers defeated the Grizzlies 96-92
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, bottom, works the ball against Memphis Grizzlies' Tony Allen during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. The Lakers defeated the Grizzlies 96-92. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Memphis Grizzlies' Tony Allen (9) defends Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (24) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Bryant scores 21 as Lakers beat Grizzlies 96-92
Memphis Grizzlies' Tony Allen (9) defends Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (24) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant goes to the basket in front of Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph (50) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Bryant scores 21 as Lakers beat Grizzlies 96-92
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant goes to the basket in front of Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph (50) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
MEMPHIS, TN - DECEMBER 17: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots against the Memphis Grizzlies on December 17, 2013 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bryant scores 21 as Lakers beat Grizzlies 96-92
MEMPHIS, TN - DECEMBER 17: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots against the Memphis Grizzlies on December 17, 2013 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

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