Kobe Bryant made his return on Wednesday after missing two games to get some rest. Unfortunately, the game didn’t come without issues as Kobe hurt his shoulder at some point during the game, possibly during a dunk in the third quarter.
The extent of the injury is unclear at this time, but according to the Lakers official Twitter page, Kobe is set to get an MRI on Thursday as Byron Scott is calling it a sore shoulder:
Byron on Kobe: "He's being examined by the doctors right now. It's a sore right shoulder. He'll have an MRI tomorrow."
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 22, 2015
Bryant had his shoulder wrapped early in the fourth quarter before coming back in the game and clearly favoring it as he nearly exclusively used his left arm. According to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters via Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Kobe said he felt alright before entering the game:
Scott said he put Kobe back in b/c he said he felt "alright" & wanted to see if they could make a run…took out when he was only using left..
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 22, 2015
An injury to Bryant’s shoulder is not what the Lakers need at this point as the team is currently on a six-game losing streak. Bryant noted that he has played with a torn labrum before, but it seems unlikely that the Lakers would allow him to do so at this point in his career.
Kobe has had a number of seemingly minor, but nagging injuries this season. In his 19th season and with the Lakers struggling, talks about whether Kobe should be shut down for the season could increase.[divide]
Lakers Kobe Bryant Discusses Future Possibility Of Being Shutdown