Updated 04:02 PM EST, Sun, Jan 17, 2021

Kobe Bryant Return Update: LA Lakers Superstar to Miss 3 More Weeks, Could Sit Out 2014 All-Star Game

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The Los Angeles Lakers will have to continue playing without Kobe Bryant after his latest examination revealed that the superstar shooting guard will not return in early February, as indicated by previous reports.

In an interview with the LA Times, Bryant revealed that the recent examination conducted by Dr. Steve Lombardo showed that his ailing knee would force him to miss another three weeks, adding that he is still experiencing nagging pain inside his knee.

"I'm down about it," Bryant said on Tuesday. "It's like an internal swelling. It's different. It's not something that's kind of on the surface where you can pinpoint and feel the swelling around. It's deep in there."

Bryant has been out since sustaining a fractured lateral tibial plateau during their 96-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Dec. 17. The 35-year-old superstar also missed the first month of the season while recovering from surgery that repaired the Achilles tendon he tore last season.

When asked to give a self-imposed timetable for his return, Bryant, who averaged 13.8 points and 6.3 assists in six games this season, declined to set a possible return date. The 18-year veteran will be re-evaluated again after three weeks.

"I didn't know what to expect," Bryant said. "It's an injury that I really can't measure so I have no idea what it's supposed to feel like. It's tough. It never really hurt when I was walking on it in the first place, so it's tough to gauge it."

With the recent setback in his recovery, Bryant will miss at least seven more Lakers games and could also skip the 2014 All-Star Game on Feb. 16 in New Orleans, in which he is supposed to make his 16th appearance in the annual hoops gala event.

Bryant previously asked NBA fans to vote for more deserving players, fearing that he could disappoint his voters due to his ailing knee. However, Bryant was still named as a starter for the Western Conference All-Stars along with Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, and Stephen Curry.

See Related: Kobe Bryant Could Be Unfit To Play In 2014 ASG In New Orleans

In the event Bryant remains unhealthy before the All-Star game, the league will name a replacement player, while the Western Conference All-Star coach will choose a new starter.

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