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Off-season knee surgery may be in Kobe Bryant’s future

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers, Game 5

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 27: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers stands on the court in the second quarter of Game Five of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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Kobe Bryant isn’t going to talk about it. He gets a bit surly during the playoffs, the media questions are just another distraction in his way. And he doesn’t talk about chinks in the armor on the best of days.

But USA Basketball’s Jerry Colangelo told the New York Post that he doesn’t expect Kobe to play this summer at the FIBA World Championships in Turkey.

“He could very well have surgery after the playoffs,” Colangelo said.

Kobe has had what was described as tendonitis but clearly was a little more than that for a while with his knee. It was bothering him in the early rounds of the playoffs, but after having fluid drained out of it he went on a tear. That included dropping 30 on the Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA finals Thursday.

A lot of people around the Lakers did not expect Kobe to play the World Championships this summer. After three straight long seasons that have ended in the NBA finals, his body could use the rest.

Now it’s apparent he may need more than just rest.