Friday , Feb , 15 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Gambling On A Pinkie: L.A. Lakers Must Fight Through Kobe Bryant’s Hand Injury

Knocking on wood, scouring Hollywood for four-leaf clovers, and opening umbrellas outside hasn’t helped Laker-nation avoid bad-luck with injuries. Rising star Andrew Bynum is out. Luke Walton has been up-and-down with ailments. Newly-acquired Trevor Ariza has had issues. And blending star Lamar Odom missed the start of the season …

Gambling On A Pinkie: L.A. Lakers Must Fight Through Kobe Bryant's Hand InjuryMy AM Take: Knocking on wood, scouring Hollywood for four-leaf clovers, and opening umbrellas outside hasn’t helped Laker-nation avoid bad-luck with injuries.

Rising star Andrew Bynum is out. Luke Walton has been up-and-down with ailments. Newly-acquired Trevor Ariza has had issues. And blending star Lamar Odom missed the start of the season.

Yesterday, L.A.’s bad luck got worse. The star that stirs the purple-and-gold’s drink, Kobe Bryant, continues to have problems with his pinkie finger. Recently, the Lakers’ training staff announced the ligament is torn and could require surgery.

Bryant put a brave face on yesterday’s announcement, electing to play through pain instead of opting for surgery:

“My current thinking is to give my finger some treatment and rest for a few days, and hope I can still continue to compete at a high level after that rest," Bryant said in statement.

"I would prefer to delay any surgical procedure until after our Lakers season, and this summer’s Olympic Games. But this is an injury that myself and the Lakers medical staff will just have to continue to monitor on a day-to-day basis."

This could become a real problem. Shooting hand ailments impact field goal percentage. Also, having to play through pain for several months would take its toll on anyone-even a superstar like Bryant.

Now consider the Laker coaching staff. At any time, their best player, team leader, and go-to-guy could be forced to have surgery or miss a stretch of games because of injury. Yet, they don’t know when or if that happens.

It’s a gamble. Russian roulette style.  Would the team be better off with Bryant having surgery, knowing he’ll return in six weeks?

All season, these Lakers have battled injuries and drama. This is one more issue they’ll have to overcome.

Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts. Where will Miller end up? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts. The AM Take is Oly’s morning thoughts on the NBA appearing Sunday through Friday on HoopsVibe.com. Errors can be attributed to the time and his need for another coffee. Click here to read and subscribe to his blog.