Right index finger fracture, December 2009
With only four pristine fingers left in his right hand, Bryant suffered an avulsion fracture to his right index finger, leaving him with only three on his predominant shooting hand. For a few weeks, Bryant wore a splint wrapped in tape. The splint hindered his ability to handle the ball, so he adjusted, like he always does, and simply used the tape to keep his finger aligned. It takes a long time for the bone to heal, and for Bryant, it never really did. It’s now bone-on-bone, plagued with arthritis, and will likely never be the same again.
Left ankle injury, February 2010
Bryant had played in 235 consecutive games before being sidelined with the injury to his left ankle. While he was receiving around-the-clock treatment for his bum ankle, he sat out for five games and missed the 2010 All-Star Game. He came back just in time for the Lakers matchup against the Grizzlies, scoring 32 points, including (of course) the game winner.
Left ankle/foot injury, April 2011
Taking some games off to nurse an ankle injury during the regular season is one thing, the playoffs, however, are a completely different animal. Bryant did everything from icing, electrostimulation and massage on his ankle to get it back to as close to 100-percent as possible in preparation for the Lakers’ series against the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the playoffs. Against the wishes of the Lakers front office, Bryant declined to undergo an X-Ray or MRI to examine the gravity of the injury, but really, regardless of the diagnosis, nothing short of amputation would keep Bryant off the floor. As it turns out, he was able to pull through and in game five, he finished with 19 points on 8 of 13 shooting, in 28-minutes of play.
Right wrist injury, December 2011
During the first of two preseason games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Bryant went down and held his wrist in pain. He sat out for the second preseason game after an MRI confirmed a tear of the lunotriquetral ligament in his wrist. Basically, the ligament stabilizes two of the smaller bones on the outer part of the wrist. Bryant could’ve had surgery, but all Laker fans can take solace in the fact that the injury doesn’t actually require surgery. As of now, the bones have remained properly aligned despite the ligament tear, however, that can change in an instant. He’s received several numbing shots to the wrist, which allows him to stay on the floor, temporarily pain-free. Of course you would never guessed he was playing hurt if his wrist wasn’t tapped up, considering the offensive tear he’s been for the last two weeks of the season.