Kobe Bryant to Undergo Season-Ending Surgery for Torn Rotator Cuff

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Lakers star Kobe Bryant dunks during a game against the Utah Jazz on Jan. 25, 2013, at Staples Center. Arguably the greatest player of his generation, Bryant has played a leading role in helping the Lakers carry their winning tradition into the 21st century. (Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Kobe Bryant will undergo surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, ending his 19th season with the Lakers a little past its halfway point. He will have surgery on Wednesday morning, the team said.

Bryant’s last three seasons have been cut short because of injury, starting with a torn Achilles’ tendon in April 2013, then a fractured bone in his knee last season and now a nagging soreness aggravated significantly by a dunk against New Orleans on Wednesday.

He saw a Lakers doctor Friday and a sports-medicine specialist, Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic, Monday morning before opting to undergo surgery. He will need several months of rest and rehabilitation but is expected to make a full recovery.

Those around Bryant say he is definitively coming back to play next season because he doesn’t want to go out like this. Bryant will also be active in free-agent recruiting for the Lakers, including pitches to possible future teammates in July.

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