LOS ANGELES (AP)—Kobe Bryant recently underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, the Los Angeles Lakers revealed Friday.
Bryant will be fully recovered well before training camp opens Sept. 25, the Lakers said in a brief statement. The two-time NBA finals MVP underwent surgery last week.
Bryant’s knee was drained of fluid early in the playoffs, and he played through several additional injuries while leading the Lakers to their second straight title.
The Lakers said last month that Bryant likely would have surgery this summer to clean up his knee. It wasn’t considered urgent, and he made a trip to South Africa for the World Cup before getting it done.
The team hasn’t announced whether Bryant will have surgery on his injured index finger, which was broken late last year and hampered his shot throughout the season.
Center Andrew Bynum also will need surgery on his right knee to repair a partially torn ligament, but Bynum’s surgery was delayed until July 28 due to his doctor’s schedule. Bynum also should be back to full strength before training camp.
Although Bryant is working on rehabilitation for his knee, he played a major role in two signings this month for the Lakers. Veteran guard Derek Fisher and swingman Matt Barnes both cited Bryant’s personal influence as a major reason they signed with Los Angeles to pursue another title.
The Lakers signed veterans Theo Ratliff and Barnes on Thursday, beefing up their bench after winning last season’s title with a top-heavy roster. With free agent point guard Steve Blake also signed this month, the Lakers have 11 players under contract for next season on a roster with strikingly more experience and depth than last season.
General manager Mitch Kupchak said Friday that the Lakers still are in negotiations with guard Shannon Brown, who opted out of his contract to become a free agent. Brown said he wanted to return to the Lakers, and Kupchak still hopes the high-flying guard will be back.
Kupchak also said the Lakers will continue to evaluate second-round draft picks Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter during training camp after both performed surprisingly well in summer-league play.