PBA doctor Wendell Lozano sees a glimmer of hope that Kobe Bryant may still be able to bounce back from his Archilles tendon injury and rejoin the Los Angeles Lakers if they make the playoffs.
Lozano, a sports medicine expert, said only an MRI scan and muscle ultrasound can determine the extend of the damage on Bryant's foot which he injured late in the Lakers' 118-116 win over the Golden State Warriors.
However, Lozano said the fact that the Lakers star was able to walk back to the bench shortly after the injury offers hope that Bryant's injury may not be as bad as initially feared.
“Nakalakad siya. Mag-isa pa so tingin ko hindi ganun kalala yung punit sa tendon niya, that’s a good sign. But still we have to refer to the result of the MRI,” said Lozano.
Based on what he saw, Lozano feels that Bryant’s case is either a Grade 2 or Grade 3 Achilles tendon tear, which is also the initial diagnosis of Lakers’ team doctors.
“Pwede mo kasing dayain yung lakad dyan eh, pag hindi ka nag tip toe, pwede yun. Kaso yung lakad niya mukhang limping lang,” he added.
Lozano went on to bare the three categories of Achilles tendon tears and their expected recovery period:
Grade 1 (a micro-tear on the tendon that will need around 5-7 days of recovery), Grade 2 (20-90 percent tear, will need thorough check-up and atleast two weeks of recovery) and the worst, Grade 3 (complete tear of the tendon that will require surgery and atleast six months of recovery).
“Wag naman po sanang Grade 3, kasi one of the strongest tendons in the body is Achilles tendon, (kaya) kapag nag-pop yan, it’s a possible catastrophic injury,” explained Lozano.
The bad sign, Lozano said, is Bryant's statement that he felt something "pop."
“Yung sinasabi niyang ‘may nag pop,’ dun ako natatakot. Mas nakaka-alarm yun," he said.