EL SEGUNDO, Calif.-- Kobe Bryant had a brief hashtag message Thursday for his fans on Twitter regarding his latest setback.
Hours after finding out he will be out six weeks because of a broken bone in his left knee, he simply wrote "(hashtag)BrokenNotBeaten."
Unlike his rambling Facebook post after tearing his Achilles' tendon, Bryant didn't provide much insight on how he felt about suffering a fracture of his lateral tibial plateau that would put him back on the bench six games after his return.
Bryant had played in only six games when he suffered the injury in the Lakers' last game, a 96-92 victory in Memphis on Tuesday. He hyperextended his knee in the third quarter and continued playing. Bryant had one of his best games since returning from his eight-month absence because of an Achilles' tendon injury, scoring 21 points.
"You hate it for Kobe," Coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He worked so hard to get back, but he'll be back in six weeks and we will deal with it and weather the storm until he gets back."
With 3:25 left in third quarter of the Memphis game, Bryant crumpled to the floor and reached for his left leg after colliding with the Grizzlies' Tony Allen.
Bryant remained in the game after a timeout and afterward downplayed the incident, saying, "I just twisted it a little bit. ... I tend to hyperextend my knees every now and again. It was one of those situations."
A fracture of the lateral tibial plateau affects the knee joint, stability and motion. The tibial plateau is a critical weight-bearing area located on the upper area of the tibia.
D'Antoni said he thought the Lakers star was fine when he went back into the game two nights ago.
"We thought he was OK, that maybe (the knee) was a little hyperextended," he said. "We thought he was good."
D'Antoni said he didn't think Bryant's newest injury was related to his Achilles' tendon injury or that he returned sooner than he should have.
"It could have happened at any time," D'Antoni said. "There's always a risk until he gets completely used to playing. I just think its bad luck. But the doctors were all over it."
The Lakers went 2-4 with Bryant back in the lineup after he missed the first 19 games as he worked his way back from his Achilles' injury he suffered last April. Still, they are 12-13 overall and face a tough Minnesota team Friday.
"It's tough when you get in a streak like that," Pau Gasol said. "He was fighting through and getting through the process of getting back on the floor after tearing his Achilles', and now you get this fracture.
"It's very hard for me as a teammate, as his friend, to understand that that happened to him. But what can you do? He's tough enough. He'll get through it and be back and ready to play."
The news is yet another blow to the Lakers, who are without point guards Steve Nash (root nerve issues), Steve Blake (arm) and Jordan Farmar (hamstring). Nash, who has played only six games this season, will miss another four weeks, the team announced Thursday. Farmar won't be re-evaluated for another week.
As insurance, the Lakers reportedly agreed to sign second-year point guard Kendall Marshall, the 13th overall pick in the 2012 draft, to back up Xavier Henry, who will start at the point until Farmar returns.
"It is what it is, I hate to use that cliche," D'Antoni said. "We have enough guys here to win -- that's another cliche. We're going to have to close ranks -- that's another cliche. I can throw them all at you.
"We just have to do it. We're going to play hard. We have enough guys out there, enough talent that we're going to be fine."
D'Antoni said he did warn Henry to "be careful (because) we are running out of point guards."
While Farmar is expected to be back next week, Nash, 39, remains upbeat about his chances of playing again this season. The All-Star guard has not played since Nov. 10 but said Thursday he felt close to 100 percent.
Nash worked with his personal trainer in Vancouver during the Lakers' recent trip in an effort to "prove to myself that my back can sustain the game of basketball."
"I just want to play, that's what gets me through every day," he said. "I want to play, I still love to play, and I still feel like I have the skills to do it. I'd like to finish my career on a positive note.
"I'm just fighting every day to get that little bit of joy from playing basketball and being one of the guys, running up and down the court and trying to beat somebody. That's what keeps me going every day."
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