El Segundo, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant will need 6-to-9 months to recover from a torn Achilles tendon in his left leg, according to longtime Los Angeles Lakers trainer Gary Vitti.
Bryant was hurt in the fourth quarter of Friday's game against Golden State. He tried to drive to the basket and collapsed on the floor in pain. After the game, the Lakers announced Bryant had suffered a probable torn Achilles. An MRI scheduled for Saturday confirmed that.
"Third-degree rupture," said Vitti of Saturday MRI results. "It's gone. It has to be sewn back together."
Bryant underwent surgery in Los Angeles at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday to repair the tear. Vitti said the plan is to have Bryant ready for the 2013-14 season.
Bryant's season ends with averages of 27.3 points, 6.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds in 78 games.
The injury comes during Los Angeles' critical playoff push in which the team currently remains one game ahead of Utah for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference.
Despite the loss of Bryant, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak believes the team can make the playoffs.
"It seems there's a light at the end of the tunnel because right when (players) get back it seems like we'll have a roster ready to go at some point in time, and then another guy gets injured," said Kupchak.
"To the credit of the guys on the team since Day 1, they've fought through the injuries. Since the Memphis game, I think our record is 26-12, and we've had significant injuries since that game -- and they've continued to push and push. I commend the group. Last night's injury was certainly another setback and devastating in its own way. But I've got complete confidence that this group can win the next two games and get into the playoffs."
Bryant is set to make nearly $30.5 million next season in the last year of his contract. Kupchak was asked if the Lakers would use the amnesty clause on Bryant.
"That's not even something we've discussed. From my understanding without going into great detail, that's not something that gets to the fall," said Kupchak. "I think that's something that happens in July, so that's not something that takes place next year. That's the furthest thing from my mind right now. "