Los Angeles: The struggling Los Angeles Lakers got more bad news on Thursday when an MRI exam revealed superstar Kobe Bryant`s right shoulder injury is a torn rotator cuff.
Bryant, 36, has struggled to find consistency this season, with coach Byron Scott saying this month that the team needed to limit the veteran`s time on the floor to preserve his body.
Bryant played through the injury in Wednesday`s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, connecting on six of 14 shots from the floor for 14 points in 30 minutes.
He was favoring the shoulder in the fourth quarter after a dunk, and hit a left-handed shot before departing for the locker room.
The team said he would fly back to Los Angeles for further evaluation.
"An update on his condition will be issued at that time," the Lakers said in a statement.
In December, Bryant passed NBA icon Michael Jordan for third on the league`s all-time scoring list.
But the 19-year veteran is making just 37.3 percent of his shots and there has even been a suggestion that the Lakers would consider shutting him down for the season if the team are eliminated from playoff contention.