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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Basketball World Cup may not see Kobe Bryant

Kobe went through a minor surgery on his right knee Saturday and is highly unlikely to play for the United States in the next world championships taking place this summer.

It's important to know that USA Basketball said Bryant is not expected to miss any of his commitments with his NBA team Los Angeles Lakers.

In fact, the announcement Saturday that the U.S. team will be without the NBA's leading scorer comes just five days before the Americans open their training camp in Las Vegas.

USA Basketball said that the Lakers' player will still attend part of the camp and will travel with the team in Asia for training in exhibitions in China and South Korea, and the FIBA world championships in Japan.

Experts fear, though, that full recovery from the procedure normally takes eight to 12 weeks, leaving it doubtful Bryant will be available for any of the world championships, which run from Aug. 19-Sept. 3.

We must mention tjat the U.S. has to choose its 12-man roster for the worlds before competition starts, and it can't be modified.

"We trust that Kobe will have a total and speedy recovery, and we were pleased that he expressed a willingness to remain as involved with our team as possible through this process," USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo officially expressed. "Kobe being with the players will add to our squad chemistry and his presence will help provide valuable off court leadership."