Lakers Encouraged Kobe's Knee Treatment

When Kobe Bryant flew to Dusseldorf, Germany, this summer to undergo an innovative treatment on the joint in his right knee, it was not on a whim.

In fact, Bryant and Lakers Head Athletic Trainer Gary Vitti had been discussing the possibility of the treatment for over a year. It was with Vitti’s – and by extension that of the Lakers – blessing that Bryant made the 11-hour flight in June.

German molecular orthopedist Dr. Peter Wehling, the pioneer of the procedure, worked on Kobe himself.

As Bryant relayed to Vitti, it was a definitive success.

“Up until now, Kobe is telling me that he feels great,” said Vitti. “The Lakers were fully behind him. We'll see how it holds up.”

Indeed, what remains to be seen for Bryant is how the knee functions throughout the compacted 66-game schedule, which will be released on Tuesday.

For NBA training staffs, the lack of recovery time is always an issue with the schedule, regardless of whether it's an 82- or 66-game season; at most risk are "overuse" injuries resulting in tendinitis (as Bryant's had in his knee) or stress fractures, as opposed to injuries like ankle sprains or knee tears that are considered "traumatic" injuries.

Related: Vitti discusses Kobe's health coming out of the 2010-11 season (May 27, 2011).


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