Kobe in Germany for PRP treatment

Updated: October 3, 2013, 11:58 PM ET
By Dave McMenamin | ESPNLosAngeles.com

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Kobe Bryant is in Germany and will undergo the platelet-rich plasma treatment known as Orthokine on his right knee, a source confirmed to ESPNLosAngeles.com on Thursday.

Bryant underwent the same therapy on his right knee in Germany in 2011.

Yahoo! Sports earlier reported that the Los Angeles Lakers star was traveling to Germany for the treatment.

The Lakers said Thursday that Bryant had left the country Wednesday night to undergo an undisclosed medical procedure not related to the torn Achilles he suffered in April. The team said it expects him back early next week.

[+] EnlargeKobe Bryant
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY SportsKobe Bryant, pictured with the Lakers for media day last weekend, is expected to return to the team early next week.

Bryant, 35, did not speak with Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni prior to this departure. He did go over his plans with Lakers trainer Gary Vitti, who then informed D'Antoni.

"I don't think it's a surprise," D'Antoni said Thursday of Bryant's procedure. "I think he had it programmed, and just the way it was, he knew he had time because he's not getting on the court yet. So I don't think it's a big deal, and I don't think it caught him by surprise. Instead of doing it in August, he's doing it now.

"There's no concern whatsoever."

A spokesman for Bryant declined comment. Rob Pelinka, Bryant's agent, could not immediately be reached for comment.

D'Antoni estimated Bryant would be gone from the team for a couple of days.

Leaving the United States for medical attention is nothing new for the star guard. He traveled to Germany twice in 2011 -- once in the summer and once in the fall -- to undergo platelet-rich plasma therapy on his left ankle and right knee.

Kobe's procedure involves removing blood from the affected area and spinning it in a centrifuge. Molecules that cause inflammatory responses are then removed to create a serum that is injected back into the affected area.

"It worked out well," Lakers forward Pau Gasol said when asked about Bryant's previous trip to Germany. "He said he was a new man with a brand-new knee. He said it felt a lot better. I guess that's why he's going back, to get another boost."

Bryant's doctors have said the treatment is like a tune-up to his knee, one that must be maintained.

Bryant had planned to return to Germany in the summer of 2012 for the same procedure on his right knee but decided against it. He won a gold medal while playing for Team USA that summer in London.

"No," Bryant said during training camp last year when asked if he visited Dr. Peter Wehling, the doctor responsible for the innovative blood manipulation technique, again. "I was a little busy."

Bryant did some light jogging and set shooting prior to practice Wednesday, his first on-court participation in training camp since it opened last weekend.

The Lakers haven't provided a timetable on Bryant's return from the Achilles injury other than saying in April that he would be back in six to nine months.

The Lakers scrimmaged Thursday with Jodie Meeks playing shooting guard with the first unit because Nick Young sprained his ankle. Young is day-to-day and is not expected to play in the team's preseason opener Saturday against the Golden State Warriors.

Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne and The Associated Press was used in this report.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.