Tuesday , Jan , 13 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Bryant’s MRI reveals sprained shoulder

El Segundo, CA (Sports Network) – Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant
is expected to miss at least five games following an MRI on his injured right

The results of the MRI were not as bad as initially thought, but Bryant did
suffer a sprained acromioclavicular joint of his shoulder. He will not need
surgery, but will most likely be placed on the injured list.

Bryant left Monday night’s game against Cleveland in the first quarter and
did not return. He was injured with only five seconds remaining in the
opening period, as he faked Cavaliers swingman Kedrick Brown into the air
on a three-point attempt. Brown eventually came down and landed on the
All-Star guard’s shoulder.

The 25-year-old Bryant made all three free throws following the collision,
but left the game for x-rays in the team locker room. Bryant did return
midway through the second quarter, but could not play with the discomfort
and finally exited the contest.

Bryant joins a long list of injuries to Laker All-Stars as center Shaquille
O’Neal and forward Karl Malone are also both sidelined.

O’Neal has missed the last five games with a strained right calf, but could
return Wednesday night against Denver.

Malone has been out for the last nine contests with a sprained knee ligament,
but the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Malone might miss two-to-
three more weeks.

Bryant is averaging 22.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game this