Here’s the bad news: Kobe suffered an Avulsion Fracture on the first knuckle of his index finger on his right (shooting) hand (it happened when Corey Brewer went for a steal of a pass to Kobe from Fisher, deflected the ball and it hit Kobe’s hand at an odd angle). This means a small bit of bone is pulled off by the tendon as it seperates from the bone. This is the same injury he had on his pinky finger before, but Kobe himself admitted this is going to take more getting used to because of the location where the ball releases on his shot.
But, he’s Kobe — he’s going to play through it. He’ll be playing in Utah tomorrow.
This is not a situation where there is some magic trick to heal it. It is not serious enough for surgery, so he’s going to keep playing and learn to adjust. Kobe got a foam splint on it at half, came out in the third quarter and early on took a three from the top of the key that he missed, but when he ran back down the court he looked over at the bench and gave the thumbs up sign. He hit a three a couple trips later down the court.
Still, he’s taking a sore finger out on the road for five games.
“I’m concerned. But you just try to play through it and figure things out. Tomorrow will probably be the worst of it, then you just go from there.”
“Yeah, you just get used to it. That’s all. It’s just a different technique to shoot the ball.”
We’ll see how this impacts his play. The good news is, compared to last time this happened, Kobe is surrounded by better weapons (like Gasol and Bynum). Also, he has a more developed post game where he uses his left hand a lot.
In the second quarter, Kobe tried to go back in and play without a splint, but became almost exclusively left handed. He made some plays, including a perfect lob to Shannon Brown for his highlight dunk of the night.
“The debate — who has a better left hand between me and Pau — is over. There’s no contest. No contest.”