EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Lakers announced Thursday that Kobe Bryant could miss as many as six weeks because of a torn ligament in the pinkie finger on his right hand.
A hand specialist recommended surgery to repair the ligament tear, but Bryant said he wanted to delay surgery until after this summer's Olympics.
Bryant, the second leading scorer in the NBA this season, had previously dislocated the finger and aggravated the injury Wednesday against Minnesota. An examination then revealed the ligament damage.
"My current thinking is to give my finger some treatment and rest for a few days, and hope I can still continue to compete at a high level after that rest," Bryant said. "But, this is an injury that myself and the Lakers' medical staff will just have to continue to monitor on a day-to-day basis."
A Lakers spokesman indicated Bryant still might play play in Sunday's All-Star Game. He will not take part as planned, however, in the three-point shooting contest that is part of the weekend's activities. His place in that competition will be filled by Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks.
Through 52 games, Bryant is averaging 28 points per contest.