Los Angeles: Kobe Bryant has undergone a procedure in Germany to try to strengthen his arthritic right knee, according to a report.
Citing four unidentified sources familiar with the situation, The Los Angeles Times on Friday reported that the Lakers superstar had a procedure about a month ago that is a derivation of platelet-rich plasma therapy. The Times says PRP procedures are less invasive than many surgeries involving the knee.
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.
Bryant sat out a majority of the Lakers' practices this past season and saw his scoring, shooting percentage and minutes decrease in his 15th NBA season. He has three years and $83.5 million left on his contract with the Lakers.
Bryant declined to comment to the Times.
The Lakers cited the lockout, which prevents teams from discussing players, in declining to comment Friday on Bryant's reported knee procedure.
In the PRP procedure, which takes about 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.
Tennis star Rafael Nadal, golfer Tiger Woods and Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward reportedly have undergone PRP treatments for their knees.