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Kobe Bryant Says Knee Only 60 Percent Healed

The Los Angeles Lakers have been dealing with knee problems this offseason. First, Andrew Bynum is out until December and now Kobe Bryant’s knee isn’t as healthy as it was supposed to be following knee surgery this summer.

“I’m probably about 60 percent,” Bryant told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

Bryant wore a yellow protective sleeve over the knee and played only six minutes against Minnesota during Monday’s preseason game in London, missing his three shots to finish with zero points, two assists, one steal and one rebound after checking out for good midway through the first quarter.

According to the ESPN report, Lakers coach Phil Jackson told the Los Angeles Times over the weekend that he expects it to take the first two weeks of the regular season for the knee to continue to strengthen before Bryant is back in top form.

So how much Kobe will play in the next Lakers preseason game? Not much.

The Lakers finish their Europe Live trip with an exhibition game against Pau Gasol’s former team, FC Barcelona, in Spain on Thursday, and Bryant says he does not intend to push the knee in that game either.

“Minimum,” Bryant said. “It will be the same thing — minimum.”