An Instagram photo that Kobe Bryant posted on his Facebook page before his… (Instagram )
The Lakers announced Saturday that Kobe Bryant underwent successful surgery to repair his torn left Achilles' tendon.
Bryant ruptured the tendon in the fourth quarter of the Lakers'118-116 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night at Staples Center.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. Stephen Lombardo of the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Group. Bryant is expected to be out a minimum of six to nine months.
"If one person can overcome this and get away with this healthy and come back strong, it's Kobe," said teammate and power forward Pau Gasol. "His will and determination are way beyond normal."
The Lakers will play their final two regular-season games against San Antonio on Sunday and Houston on Wednesday. Winning both guarantees the Lakers a playoff berth.
"We have the talent and confidence in each other that we can still get it done," said point guard Steve Blake. "We'll go through our big fellas a little bit more. Hopefully we can get Steve [Nash] back at some point,"
Nash is battling through hip and hamstring soreness and will be a game-time decision Sunday.
Losing Bryant is a blow for the Lakers, even if they do make the playoffs. They'll certainly be underdogs without their All-Star guard.
"I feel bad for Kobe," said Gasol. "We need to win both games to secure that spot in the playoffs and go from there. Everyone on the team is going to have to step up and understand their roles might change a little bit."
The Lakers are going to need huge performances from center Dwight Howard and Gasol inside. They also have to come together defensively as a group.
"We know what we have to do," said Howard. "We know he's out. We can't put our heads down and act like it's over with. I think we can accomplish something great, with or without Kobe."
If the Lakers advance to the playoffs, they would face either the Oklahoma City Thunder or Spurs in the first round.
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