FIBA World Championship 2006 - Unofficial Blog

Sunday, July 16, 2006

USA Basketball without Kobe Bryant

Lakers' star Kobe Bryant had minor surgery on his right knee yesterday. For this reason, he is not expected to play for the United States in the world championships Aug. 19-Sept. 3 in Japan.

In fact, the recovery time is eight to 12 weeks, and despite Bryant will still attend part of the camp and travel with the team in Asia, USA Basketball does not feel he is going to be ready at the roster deadline.

American managing director Jerry Colangelo issued a statement Saturday saying the recovery period Bryant faces from the surgery makes it "highly unlikely" he will be able to play in the world championship.

"Kobe being with the squad will add to our team chemistry and his presence will help provide valuable off court leadership," Colangelo admitted.

Bryant will still attend part of the camp and will travel with the team in Asia for training in exhibitions in China and South Korea, and the world championships in Japan.

However, full recovery from the procedure normally takes eight to 12 weeks, leaving it doubtful Bryant will be available for any of the world championships.

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