Update: Kobe Bryant Experiments With A Different Kind Of Knee Surgery & Full-Body Cryotherapy

UPDATE: Kevin Ding of The Orange County Register is reporting an innovative knee surgery isn’t the only thing Bryant has done this summer:

Bryant also visited the Bayer 04 soccer club’s new rehab center in early June to try out whole body cryotherapy, sitting in a chamber that dropped to minus-166 degrees Fahrenheit. The goal is for the body to fight inflammation and feel invigorated by the process, which is somewhat like a fuller scale ice bath — and the device is currently not available in the United States.

Is this the beginning of the end? Over 48,000 career minutes in, are the tires finally rusting and breaking down?

Despite being considered one of the toughest players in the game, Kobe isn’t a machine, and by the end of last season, his body was wearing down. In the Lakers’ 10 playoff games, Bryant didn’t even reach 20 points in half of them. And as the series against Dallas went deeper, his numbers dropped every game. It was missing, whatever “it” was, and now Lakers fans have a summer of doubt: is Kobe done as one of the best in the game, or will rest get him back to where he needs to be?

With his first long summer since 2007, Bryant had an innovative and unusual procedure done on his right knee about a month ago in Germany.

Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times write:

The treatment is a derivation of platelet-rich plasma therapy. PRP procedures are less invasive than many surgeries involving the knee and are viewed as either an emerging solution to knee problems or a financial gamble on unproven science.

Bryant, who turns 33 next month, has been bothered in recent seasons by an arthritic joint in his right knee. He has undergone three other knee procedures since 2003, including surgery last July to remove unspecified loose bodies.

Some other athletes who have had this done include Tiger Woods, Rafa Nadal, Brandon Roy (who had it done on his hamstring) and Hines Ward.

Bryant hardly practiced at all last season because of the condition of his knees, specifically the right one. There were instances throughout the year where people said the amount of cartilage in those knees was extremely low, with Bryant once saying: “…it’s almost bone on bone.”

The Times wrote the the procedure usually takes an hour:

A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm and spun in a centrifuge for about 20 minutes to isolate platelets. With guidance from ultrasound, the platelets are then injected into the injured area to try to stimulate tissue repair.

With this type of treatment being so new, no one is really sure how well it works. But Bryant will try just about anything if it means prolonging his career. We’ll all have to wait and see the effects (if there are any).

What do you think? Will this help Kobe?

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