The struggling Los Angeles Lakers will wait a couple of days before making a final decision on whether five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant will require shoulder surgery and miss the rest of the season.
36-year-old Bryant, who hurt his right shoulder during Thursday's game against the Pelicans in New Orleans, was examined in Los Angeles today by Lakers team physician Steve Lombardo.
A Lakers statement says Dr. Lombardo confirmed the diagnosis of a torn rotator cuff and discussed options, including the possibility of surgery, with Bryant.
"Bryant is scheduled to be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic on Monday, and a decision is expected to be made at that time."
Bryant, who in his 19th season in the NBA, tweeted: "This is what happens when I pass too much! #ShoulderShock thank u all for ur thoughts and prayers."
Bryant injured the shoulder on a dunk and avoided using his right arm after returning in the fourth quarter.
A former league Most Valuable Player, twice an NBA scoring leader and a two-time most valuable player of the NBA Finals, Bryant had sat out eight of the previous 16 games for "rest" reasons.
The Lakers standout, who earned his 17th All-Star selection this week, is averaging 22.3 points through 35 games this season and is signed through next season after agreeing to a two-year extension in 2013 for 65 million dollars.
Bryant played in only six games last season due to knee and Achilles tendon injuries as the Lakers struggled to a 27-55 record.
He is the fourth Laker to suffer a long-term injury this season and the team has fared even worse, posting a 12-31 record to sit second to last in the Western Conference.