Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers guard, may have broken a league record during the NBA All-Star game last Sunday, but he also left with a fractured nose and concussion that may leave him ineligible to play in upcoming games.
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Bryant was fouled hard by Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade during the All-Star game on Sunday, which resulted in blood leaking from his nose. Although the Lakers guard surpassed Hall of Famer and Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan to become the top scorer in the NBA All-Star game, Bryant was forced to visit an ear, nose and throat specialist on Tuesday.
The doctor confirmed that Bryant suffered a nasal fracture, but he was still forced to visit a neurologist due to other symptoms, according to ESPN. In order to play on Wednesday or in any future games with the Lakers, Bryant must undergo a series of tests outlined in a new NBA concussion policy.
The new policy was created before the shortened 2011-2012 NBA season and forces players to undergo various physical tests including riding a stationary bike, jogging and performing team drills that do not require contact. Bryant can only be cleared if he passes the tests without undergoing any symptoms resulting from is concussion.
Bryant will specifically have to be cleared by neurologist Dr. Vern Williams and the inaugural director of the NBA's concussion program, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, ESPN reports. The injured Lakers guard was forced to miss practice on Tuesday, but has yet to give word about his participation in the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves scheduled for Wednesday evening.
Wade has expressed multiple apologies for injuring the 16-year-veteran with his hard foul to the face in the third quarter of the All-Star game.
"It's unfortunate, obviously. I don't want to ever hurt anybody in this game, especially on a freak play like that," Wade said while practicing with his team. "It's unfortunate. I send my apologies. But it's not intentional. If it's something I did intentionally, it'd be a different story."